O Jesus, I Have Promised (ELW 810)
1 O Jesus, I have promised to serve you to the end;
remain forever near me, my master and my friend.
I shall not fear the battle if you are by my side,
nor wander from the pathway if you will be my guide.
2 Oh, let me feel you near me; the world is ever near.
I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear
My foes are ever near me, around me and within;
but, Jesus, then draw nearer to shield my soul from sin.
3 Oh, let me hear you speaking in the accents clear and still
above the storms of passion, the murmurs of self-will.
Now speak to reassure me, to hasten or control;
now speak and make me listen, O Guardian of my soul.
4 O Jesus, you have promised to all who follow you
that where you are in glory your servant shall be too.
And Jesus, I have promised to serve you to the end;
oh, give me grace to follow, my master and my friend.
Yes, I believe the Holy Spirit is at work, “even” through my Googling. As I searched for a public domain hymn based on Mark 13:24-37, I soon ended up at the doorstep of St. Paul and St. Andrew, a United Methodist Church in New York City. (https://stpaulandstandrew.org)
As we come to the end of this week ending the church year, having ridden our Scriptural roller coaster up and down, around and through those various “ends” suggested in this week’s readings, I simply offer up that church community’s many and various outreach ministries as examples of those who refuse to be ROADies while awaiting Jesus’ final, cosmic curtain call, his return at the end. And may we too not only follow Jesus—our Master and our Saving Friend—but, as emphasized in both the first and last verses of this hymn, serve him—to the end.
Whether “the end” encompasses my physical, earthly life or your earth-shaking, cosmically compelling return, Lord Jesus, give me the strength not only to continue to follow you, but to serve you until that end. Amen and Amen!