Through the night of doubt and sorrow,
onward goes the pilgrim band,
singing songs of expectation,
marching to the promised land.
Clear before us through the darkness
gleams and burns the guiding light;
pilgrim clasps the hand of pilgrim
stepping fearless through the night.
One the light of God's own presence
on the ransomed people shed,
chasing far the gloom and terror,
bright'ning all the path we tread.
One the object of our journey,
one the faith which never tires,
one the earnest looking forward,
one the hope our God inspires.
One the strain that lips of thousands
lift as from the heart of one;
one the conflict, one the peril,
one the march in God begun.
One the gladness of rejoicing
on the far eternal shore,
where the one almighty Father
reigns in love forevermore.
Onward, therefore, sisters, brothers;
onward, with the cross our aid.
Bear its shame, and fight its battle
till we rest beneath its shade.
Soon shall come the great awak'ning;
soon the rending of the tomb!
Then the scatt'ring of all shadows,
and the end of toil and gloom.
I'm a map person--whether it's the traditional multi-fold
highway map, or now the more new-fangled navigation
screens. I like to keep track of where I am and where I
am heading. The same might be true of us pilgrims who
share our Lenten hymn. Though yesterday we pondered
our move from gloom toward the light grounded in the
promise of God's presence, today, the last portion of
verse two suggests there is still something more to be
desired. Our journey wants a destination, an "object."
Having a destination grants us to journey with our eyes
constantly focused not toward what lies behind, but
toward what lies ahead. With our attention focused
on the object that lies at the end of our journey--the
promise in the cross and resurrection of our Lord--we
journey with a "faith that never tires" because of the
"hope" that is inspired in us by the light of God's presence.