Lenten Theme Hymn: "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say," ELW 332
1I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Come unto me and rest;
lay down, O weary one, lay down
your head upon my breast."
I came to Jesus as I was,
so weary, worn, and sad;
I found in him a resting-place,
and he has made me glad.
2I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Behold, I freely give
the living water, thirsty one;
stoop down and drink and live."
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.
3I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"I am this dark world's light;
look unto me, your morn shall rise,
and all your day be bright."
I looked to Jesus, and I found
in him my star, my sun;
and in that light of life I'll walk
till trav'ling days are done.
Text: Horatius Bonar, 1808-89 (Public Domain)
Verse 2 of this hymn holds a beautiful reference to John 4, where Jesus encounters a woman drawing water from a well a good distance from the nearest town. He says to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life" (verses 13-14).
Not only does the woman ask Jesus for a drink; she also returns to her city, proclaiming the good news she has just heard! She is one of the first evangelists in all of Scripture, transformed solely by knowing Christ. She wanders into forgiveness and is forever changed.
The first-person voice of this hymn lets us put ourselves into the woman's shoes today: Our thirst is quenched, our souls revived, and now, we live in Christ.
God, thank you for baptizing me, reviving my soul, and sustaining me with the water of eternal life. Help me share this good news today, to give life to others that speaks to the life I know in you. Amen.