Come, Follow Me, the Savior Spake (ELW 799)
1 "Come, follow me," the Savior spake,
"all in my way abiding;
deny yourselves, the world forsake,
obey my call and guiding.
Oh, bear the cross, whate'er betide;
take my example for your guide."
2 "I am the light; I light the way,
a godly life displaying;
I bid you walk as in the day;
I keep your feet from straying.
I am the way, and well I show
how you should sojourn here below."
3 "I teach you how to shun and flee
what harms your soul's salvation;
from ev'ry guile your heart to free,
from sin and its temptation.
I am the refuge of the soul
and lead you to your heav'nly goal."
4 Then let us follow Christ, our Lord,
and take the cross appointed,
and, firmly clinging to his word,
in suffering be undaunted.
For those who bear the battle's strain
the crown of heav'nly life obtain.
Text: Johann Scheffler, 1624-1677; tr. Charles W. Schaeffer, 1813-1896, alt.
When you enter a dark room, the first thing you're likely to do is to find a light switch so you can see more clearly what is in the room. The second stanza of this hymn says that Jesus is that kind of light for us: "I am the light; I light the way, a godly life displaying; I bid you walk as in the day; I keep your feet from straying. I am the way, and well I show how you should sojourn here below." The truth about the light is that it exposes things so that we may see them more clearly. This includes the truth about ourselves and our sin, revealing the ugly side of us, which we might rather hide away in the dark.
The good news is that as Christ the Light exposes us for who we are, he will at the same time reveal the truth about himself as the one who radiates love and forgiveness, gentleness and mercy.
Dear God who lights our days, show us the path where we should trod, to reveal the way back to you, our God. Amen.