When we are tested and wrestle alone,
Famished for bread when the world offers stone,
Nourish us, God, by Your word and Your way,
Food that sustains us by night and by day.
Typically encountered during Lent, the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness is the gospel reading for the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany in the Matthew year of the Narrative Lectionary. Ruth C. Duck’s hymn text, “When we are tested”, is a lovely sung response to this reading, and it is Ascension’s hymn of the day for Sunday, January 15, 2023.
Ruth C. Duck was born in Washington DC and moved with her family to Tennessee while in high school. Raised in a faithful evangelical Christian family, she was exposed to the ministry of Martin Luther King, Jr., as a teenager. She was ordained a minister in the United Church of Christ in 1974. Her academic work focused on worship and liturgy with an emphasis on inclusive language. Colleagues have noted that Duck has used over 70 ways of naming God in her 150+ different hymn texts. Her hymn texts emphasize inclusion, justice, and the Trinity. Duck was named a Fellow of The Hymn Society in 2013.
Duck’s text has been set to a few different tunes. The version included in the latest ELCA hymnal, All Creation Sings, is set to the tune SLANE, which may be familiar to many as the tune for “Lord of All Hopefulness” and “Be Thou My Vision”.