“You Are the Way” (ELW 758)
1 You are the way; to you alone from sin and death we flee;
all those who search for God, you find and by your grace set free.
2 You are the truth; your word alone true wisdom can impart;
you only can inform the mind and purify the heart.
3 You are the life; the rending tomb proclaims your conquering arm;
and those who put their trust in you not death nor hell shall harm.
4 You are the way, the truth, the life; grant us that way to know,
that truth to keep, that life to win, whose joys eternal flow.
In this week’s gospel reading (John 14:1-14), in that upper room before his passion Jesus assures his disciples, “You know the way where I am going.” But then Thomas, perhaps on behalf of all the disciples, owns up to his frustration and fear: “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” So Jesus calls them to deeper trust: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” On a deeper level in John’s gospel the risen Jesus is speaking to reassure John’s hearers that as their resurrected Lord, he continues to abide with them and lead them into the future.
Though not an “Easter” hymn, today’s hymn affirms those words of the risen Jesus and speaks of the trust of disciples who abide in his promises. Each verse begins with a portion of that threefold affirmation: “You are the way . . . the truth . . . the life.” The empty tomb says it all. And we pray with the hymn that we may continue to know Jesus as the way, and so put our trust in him in face of all our uncertainties.
Living Lord Jesus, you are indeed the way, the truth, and the life. Grant us to know your abiding presence, and help us trust that you will lead us each day by your gracious promise. Amen.