Not taking gender for granted

The soprano section of an American college choir on a recent tour of Scotland seemed rather taken aback when singing the second verse of Hymn 309 from the Church of Scotland Hymnary ('O Son of Man, our Hero strong and tender', sung to the tune of the Londonderry Air):

Lover of children, boyhood's inspiration,
Of all mankind the Servant and the King;
O Lord of joy and hope and consolation,
To Thee our fears and joys and hopes we bring.
Not in our failures only and our sadness
We seek Thy presence, Comforter and Friend;
O rich man's Guest, be with us in our gladness,
O poor man's Mate, our lowliest tasks attend.

To write a gender-neutral version of these words would be quite a taxing assignment.

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