Jesus, Still Lead On (ELW 624)
1 Jesus, still lead on, till our rest be won;
and, although the way be cheerless,
we will follow, calm and fearless;
guide us by your hand to the promised land.
2 If the way be drear, if the foe be near,
let no faithless fears o’ertake us,
let not faith and hope forsake us;
safely past the foe to our home we go.
3 When we seek relief from a long-felt grief,
when temptations come alluring
make us patient and enduring;
show us that bright shore where we weep no more.
4 Jesus, still lead on, till our rest be won;
heav’nly leader, still direct us,
still support, console, protect us,
till we safely stand in the promised land.
During my seminary days I received an important piece of advice based on the fact that I would be moving from dorm room to dorm room, apartment to apartment. First thing in unpacking? Make your bed! It is easier to keep working when you are sure, at the end of the day, your place to rest is ready. Might this be a good analogy to the faith-journey of life following Jesus?
This hymn by Nicolaus von Zinzendorf begins with words of confident commitment. Its bold tune underscores the gospel picture of Jesus, “setting his face toward Jerusalem.” The hymn’s images are not ones of cheery happiness, holding out the promises of health and wealth. Perhaps we would prefer more thoughts about positive service here and now. Yet this hymn invites us into the promise, that in the Lord, our “labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Loving God, will today’s experiences be “happy” and “fun”? Give me the confidence and the strength I need, so that in all that occurs this day, I may experience your joy. Amen.