The Passion of our Lord According to the Hymnwriter
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8
Our Lord’s Passion lends itself for some of the greatest sermons and devotional writings. As a parish pastor, I always took time during the Lenten season to read reflections of others regarding Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Equally moving for pastors and laypeople alike are the poetic words of the great hymns of Lent and Good Friday. One of the blessings of midweek Lenten services is the opportunity to sing even more of the evangelists through the ages who set our Lord’s Passion to music.
“Glory be Jesus, who in bitter pains
Poured for me the lifeblood from His sacred veins!” (LSB #433 v. 1)
In the midst of our busy-ness, it is difficult to find time to quietly reflect on our Lord’s crucifixion and death. From the incessant notifications and interruptions of our world, there is little time to read, pray, reflect, and sing. It is good for us to flee from the cacophony of sounds to the stillness wherein we can think on the depth of our Lord’s love for us.
“Jesus, I will ponder now on Your holy passion;
With your Spirit me endow for such meditation.
Grant that I in love and faith may the image cherish
Of Your suff’ring pain and death that I may not perish.” (LSB #440 v. 1)
One way to ponder our Lord’s Passion this week is to read, pray, or sing the Lenten and Holy Week hymns from Lutheran Service Book. A great place to start is with the beautiful and yet paradoxical lyrics of “O Dearest Jesus, What Law Hast Thou Broken.” With fifteen verses, it is often difficult for a congregation to sing all of the verses. Take time this week to read and reflect on this moving hymn as it helps us to recall the lengths to which our Lord went to redeem His wayward children.
“What punishment so strange is suffered yonder?
The Shepherd dies for sheep that loved to wander;
The Master pays the debt His servants owe Him,
Who would not know him” (LSB #439 v. 4)
May God bless you and your family during as we consider the depth of God’s love for us, His wayward children.
Prayer –Be Thou my consolation, my shield, when I must die; Remind me of Thy passion when my last hour draws nigh. Mine eyes shall then behold Thee, upon Thy cross shall dwell My heart by faith enfold Thee, who dieth thus dies well. Amen. (LSB #450 v. 7)
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan