*God’s Voice. Our Words: Singing the Hymns of Faith – March 11, 2018

Mar 10, 2018

“I am not ashamed to confess publicly that next to theology there is no art which is the equal of music…”    Martin Luther, in a letter (1530) to Catholic composer, Ludwig Senfl

Hymns are often the first way we learn to give voice to our faith as children and even those who are not great singers have favorite hymns that they know by heart.  You are invited to reflect on this stanza in the week ahead.  Use it for prayer, meditation, or in daily devotion.  Our prayer and hope is that these hymn stanzas will lift and deepen your faith and encourage your living of that faith in daily works of love and acts of mercy.

 

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross   ELW 335, stanza 1

TUNE:  NEAR THE CROSS

Jesus, keep me near the cross,

There’s a precious fountain;

free to all, a healing stream

flows from Calv’ry’s mountain.

In the cross, in the cross

be my glory ever,

till my ransomed soul shall find

rest beyond the river.

 

An old favorite of many, the hymn heralds the Lenten season.  The cross is the center of Lent.  The refrain has a very Lutheran perspective – our theology is a theology of the cross, not a theology of glory.  Our only glory is in the cross.  “For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.”  (1 Corinthians 1: 18, 22-25)