Jesus Calls Us; O’er the Tumult (ELW 696)
1 Jesus calls us; o’er the tumult
of our life’s wild, restless sea,
day by day his clear voice sounding,
saying, “Christian, follow me”:
2 As of old Saint Andrew heard it
by the Galilean lake,
turned from home and toil and kindred,
leaving all for Jesus’ sake.
3 Jesus calls us from the worship
of the vain world’s golden store,
from each idol that would keep us,
saying, “Christian, love me more.”
4 In our joys and in our sorrows,
days of toil and hours of ease,
still he calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love me more than these.”
5 Jesus calls us! By your mercy,
Savior, may we hear your call,
give our hearts to your obedience,
serve and love you best of all.
While the lakeside context of Jesus’ call to Andrew referenced in the hymn is missing from John’s account of the story, the call is unmistakable. Andrew’s experience of Jesus led him to say, “We have found the Messiah.” Andrew heard Jesus’ “clear voice sounding.” The female poet and writer of the hymn, Cecil Frances Alexander, wrote it in Ireland in 1852, but the “tumult of our life’s wild restless sea” has not quieted since nor has the allure of “the vain world’s golden store.”
We live in a time when we are bombarded by voices on every side through a multitude of media, and images of the “world’s golden store” are always paraded before us. It is easy for the voice of Jesus to be drowned out and anything but clear. Even so, people still hear the voice of Jesus and continue to follow, for in Jesus we find the path to life, life that is everlasting.
Faithful Jesus, we truly live amid lamentation, tumult, and temptation. Keep our eyes fixed on you that our spirits might be strengthened and renewed. Amen.