“Where cross the [not so] crowded ways of life…”
“Where cross the crowded ways of life,
Where sound the cries of race and clan,
Above the noise of selfish strife,
We hear your voice, O Son of man.”
“Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life”
by Frank Mason North
The United Methodist Hymnal, No. 427
The text for this hymn first appeared as “A Prayer for the Multitudes” in the June 1903 and later was made into the hymn that it is today. New York City served as the backdrop for the writing of this hymn and its text showed the concern for people in poverty, workers rights, and the plight of women and children.
Rev. North was the co-author of the Methodist Social Creed (1908)* which came about as a part of the Social Gospel movement led by Walter Rauschenbusch, whose “A Theology of the Social Gospel” (1917) later codified.
Though this hymn was written over a 100 years ago, it feels as salient and needed as ever.
May we continue to hear the Voice of Christ above the noise of our day.
*historical info and details from C. Michael Hawn who is University Distinguished Professor of Church Music, Perkins School of Theology, SMU—in his article for UMCDiscipleship.org.