Second Sunday in Advent
|Isaiah 40:1-11||Comfort||128: He Leadeth Me: O Blessed
153: Thou Hidden Source of Calm Repose
|Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13||Peace and favor||365: Grace Greater than Our Sin
479: Jesus, Lover of My Soul
|Mark 1:1-8||The voice in the wilderness||398: Jesus Calls Us
436: The Voice of God Is Calling
|2 Peter 3:8-15a||God's patience means salvation||430: O Master, Let Me Walk with
500: Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart
Life can be so hectic, especially during holiday seasons. Even when things are "going good" we have jobs to do, homes to keep, children to raise, and many more things that take our time and attention. When we prepare for special events or face difficult situations, our time can become even more strained. The only patience we have is the patience that we receive from others. Good will is a nice thought, but sometimes it is hard for us to recognize or appreciate it. No matter how hard life is, though, we have to remember that there is always a solution. Sometimes it turns up in unexpected places, and when we finally recognize it we can hardly believe that we failed to recognize it before.
Perhaps it was this same sense that led Charles Wesley to write this week's featured hymn. In this hymn, which was published as number 143 of Hymns and Sacred Poems in 1749, Wesley exalts Christ's all sufficient love and salvation through the first two verses. When life begins to overwhelm us, the hymn writer knew that he could hide in and rely on the everlasting assurance of Christ's ever present love and salvation. The third and fourth verses amplify the contrasts between the pitfalls of this life and the glories of life in Christ. They are contrasts that filled Charles Wesley with peace and security.
In discussing this hymn in his work, The Methodist Hymn Book, Illustrated with Biography, History, Incident, and Anecdote, George Stevenson shares the account of a successful business man who was known for his great spirituality. When asked by a friend how he was able to keep his mind focused on spiritual things, he replied, "By making Christ all in all." The man continued his walk with God when successes waned, and his friend once again asked how he could continue to be cheerful. He replied, "By finding my all in Christ."
Read the words of this hymn prayerfully. Carry them with you, and let them fill you with the same peace and security that Charles Wesley found:
|1. Thou hidden source of calm repose,
thou all-sufficient love divine,
my help and refuge from my foes,
secure I am if thou art mine;
and lo! from sin and grief and shame
I hide me, Jesus, in thy name.
|2. Thy mighty name salvation is,
and keeps my happy soul above,
comfort it brings, and power and peace,
and joy and everlasting love;
to me with thy dear name are given
pardon and holiness and heaven.
|3. Jesus, my all in all thou art,
my rest in toil, my ease in pain,
the healing of my broken heart,
in war my peace, in loss my gain,
my smile beneath the tyrant's frown,
in shame my glory and my crown.
|4. In want my plentiful supply,
in weakness my almighty power,
in bonds my perfect liberty,
my light in Satan's darkest hour,
in grief my joy unspeakable,
my life in death, my heaven in hell.
As you continue through the hustle and bustle of this Advent season, don't let the pressures and business be heavy on your heart and mind. Instead, remember that Christ is our hidden source of calm repose.
God bless you--
Lection at HymnSite.com
|Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.|