I don't normally react deeply or positively to Methodist hymns. As my favourite Gospel singer, the late Larry Norman, sang in the early 1970's, " I don't like none of those funeral marches, I ain't dead yet!"As a child, Methodists always came across as being even nicer than Anglicans. More a case of "cake and more cake" rather than Eddie Izzard's "cake or death."
However, recently, when I heard Irish songstress Joanne Hogg sing the first two verses of an Iona song, "Empyrean Dawn," my heart melted and my spirit soared:
"How wonderful this world
A fragment of a fiery sun
How lovely and how small
The smallest seed in secret grows
Thrusting upward and so soon
The bidding of the Light
The bud unfurls into a rose
The wings within the white cocoon
Are perfected for flight
The migrant bird in winter fled
Shall come again with spring
And build, in this same shady tree"
Beautiful imagery from a hymn by Methodist Frederick Pratt Green and put to fantastic music by Iona in their album "The Circling Hour."