Still Homeward Bound

Phil Ryken
A reader has written to take issue with my post "Homeward Bound."  First the critique, and then my response:

Pastor Ryken commends as "good" Thomas R. Taylor's text "I'm But a Stranger Here." I must disagree. I think this text is unworthy to be sung in church. Like too much hymnody, it falls short of full Christian hope for the union of heaven and earth so strong in Paul and the closing pages of the Apocalypse, short of hope for new bodies fit for new heavens and a new earth. "I look for the resurrection of the dead," we keep saying. We ought to mean it. A far better hymn, I think, is "For All the Saints." Note especially these two verses:

The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

That's the sort of thing we ought to be singing.