Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me (ELW 623)
1 Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood
from thy riven side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
cleanse me from guilt and pow’r.
2 Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law’s demands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.
3 Nothing in my hand I bring;
simply to thy cross I cling.
Naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.
4 While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyelids close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee.
Our hymn chosen for this weekend continues: “let the water and the blood, from thy riven side which flowed, be of sin the double cure; cleanse me from its guilt and power.” These lines cite two deep insights. The first one is obvious: Jesus’ death on the cross at Calvary brought to us the forgiveness of our sin and therefore the gift of eternal life. The second insight is that the power of sin holds us in its grip as long as we live on this earth. That is a tougher bug-a-boo to deal with, since it lies more deeply within us. While comedian Flip Wilson years ago made famous “the devil made me do it” line, he was only one third correct. The real human problem is “the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh,” as we learn in Luther’s catechism. A battle rages every day within every human being. Thus we all need the daily aid of Almighty God to help us walk in his divine way.
Lord Jesus, come to the aid of your people, whose daily lives are so often inundated by temptations of various sorts. Enable us to say “No” to temptation and continue to walk in your ways. In your Name. Amen.