“Op die wolke van die hemel sal ons Jesus weer ontmoet…” traditional Afrikaans song from the Namaqua Desert.
This song never fails to stir my soul. “On the clouds of the heaven, I will meet Jesus again.” It is a song of joy, thanksgiving and anticipation. It is sung with enthusiasm and pride, usually accompanied by clapping hands and a little African two-step shuffle. Most of the farm workers and laborers live along the narrow strip of the Orange River as it courses its way between the Kalahari to the north and the Namaqua in the south. They are poor and have a basic subsistence living. I know it is probably sung in other areas but I’ve only heard it in Namaqualand.
It’s basic truth is simple: all Christians died to themselves and were buried with Jesus in the water. Because we are all raised in a new life, all Christians have this glorious hope of meeting Jesus again. This time, face to face, and anticipating His promise to take us home. As far as I know, there isn’t another hymn in English that carries the same thought and that’s why is has become so special to me. I haven’t heard it for a number of years now and I find myself humming it every now and then.
Perhaps I’m getting older and more sentimental. Maybe my brain just plays mind tricks.
But, in my heart, I know I have the same hope as those men and women living between two deserts as they sing it in praise to our Father.