"O Christ, You walked the road our wand'ring feet must go.
You faced with us temptation's pow'r and fought our ancient foe.
No bread of earth alone can fill our hung'ring hearts.
Lord, help us seek Your living Word, the food Your grace imparts.
No blinding sign we ask, no wonder from above.
Lord, help us place our trust alone in Your unswerving love.
When lures of easy gain with promise brightly shine,
Lord, help us seek Your kingdom first;
our wills with Yours align.
O Christ, You walked the road our wandr'ing feet must go.
Stay with us through temptation's hour to fight our ancient foe."
“Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.”
“Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”–not knowing what he said. As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!”
“And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.” Luke 9:28-36
It was no dream…Peter and James and John with their own eyes and ears saw and heard Moses and Elijah conversing with their Lord who shown bright on the mountaintop that day. The scene inspired Peter to declare a holiday– “Let’s camp here!” (my paraphrase) It wouldn’t be the last time that Peter would try to throw a monkey wrench into the plan meant for our Savior. Moses and Elijah and Jesus–heads together–spoke about the days ahead. The mantel of the Law and the Prophets now rested on our Lord’s shoulders. He would bear the load of sin–alone–on the cross–for you, for me. A prolonged camping trip was not on His agenda.
A swirling cloud swallowed up the men on the mountain. God declared His agenda, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” The disciples heard those words and there was no more talk of tents. Peter didn’t say a word as they went back down the mountain. He and James and John kept the mountaintop experience to themselves. It would still be in the future that they would really HEAR/UNDERSTAND all the words from their Master’s lips–and that by the power of the Holy Spirit. They had a road trip to Jerusalem ahead of them.
Soon we will enter the season of Lent. A time of reflection. A spiritual road trip. And God tells us to listen to His Son, His Chosen One. He speaks to us in His Word and through His sacraments. We hear Him implore all who are weak and heavy laden to come to Him and to receive His rest. He promises to walk this road with us.
LORD may we listen to You and follow Your lead in word and deed. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.
Jesus I will ponder now on Your holy passion; with Your Spirit me endow for such meditation. Grant that I in love and faith may the image cherish of Your suff’ring, pain and death that I may not perish.
Make me see Your great distress, anguish and affliction, bonds and stripes and wretchedness and Your crucifixion; Make me see how scourge and rod, spear and nails did wound You, how for them You died, O God, who with thorns had crowned You.
Yet, O Lord, not thus alone make me see Your passion, but its cause to me make known and its termination. Ah! I also and my sin wrought Your deep affliction; this indeed the cause has been of Your crucifixion.
Grant that I Your passion view with repentant grieving. Let me not bring shame to You by unholy living. How could I refuse to shun every sinful pleasure since for me God’s only Son suffered without measure?
If my sins give me alarm and my conscience grieve me, let Your cross my fear disarm; peace of conscience give me. Help me see forgiveness won by Your holy passion. If for me He slays His Son, God must have compassion!
Graciously my faith renew; Help me bear my crosses, learning humbleness from You, peace mid pain and losses. May I give You love for love! Hear me, O my Savior, that I may in heav’n above sing Your praise forever.
Hymn text by Sigismund von Birken, 1626-1681
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:31-32
Alas! And did my Savior bleed, and did my sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?
Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity, grace unknown, and love beyond degree!
Well might the sun in darkness hide and shut his glories in when God, the mighty maker, died for His own creatures’ sin.
Thus might I hide my blushing face while His dear cross appears, dissolve my heart in thankfulness, and melt mine eyes to tears.
But drops of grief can ne’er repay the debt of love I owe; here, Lord, I give myself away: ‘Tis all that I can do.
Hymn Text by Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” Colossians 1:19-20
Come to Calvary’s Holy Mountain, sinners, ruined by the fall; Here a pure and healing fountain flows for you, for me, for all, in a full, perpetual tide, opened when our Savior died.
Come in poverty and meanness, come defiled, without, within; from infection and uncleanness, from the leprosy of sin, wash your robes and make them white; you shall walk with God in light.
Come in sorrow and contrition, wounded, impotent, and blind; here the guilty, free remission, here the troubled, peace may find. Health this fountain will restore; they that drink shall thirst no more.
They that drink shall live forever; ’tis a soul renewing flood. God is faithful; God will never break His covenant of blood, signed when our Redeemer died, sealed when He was glorified.
Hymn text by James Montgomery, 1771-1854
“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” John 7:37-38
Jesus, refuge of the weary, blest Redeemer whom we love, fountain in life’s desert dreary, Savior from the world above: Often have Your eyes, offended, gazed upon the sinner’s fall; yet upon the cross extended, You have borne the pain of all.
Do we pass that cross unheeding, breathing no repentant vow, though we see You wounded, bleeding, see Your thorn encircled brow? Yet Your sinless death has brought us life eternal, peace and rest; only what Your grace has taught us calms the sinner’s deep distress.
Jesus, may our hearts be burning with more fervent love for You; may our eyes be ever turning to behold Your cross anew till in glory, parted never from the blessed Savior’s side, graven in our hearts forever, dwell the cross, the Crucified.
Hymn text by Girolamo Savonarola, 1452-98
“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” Jeremiah 31:25
My song is love unknown, my Savior’s love to me, love to the loveless shows that they might lovely be. Oh, who am I that for my sake my Lord should take frail flesh and die?
He came from His blest throne salvation to bestow; but men made strange and none the longed-for Christ would know. But, oh, my friend, my friend indeed, who at my need His life did spend!
Sometimes they strew His way and His sweet praises sing; resounding all the day Hosannas to their King. Then “Crucify!” is all their breath, and for His death they thirst and cry.
Why, what hath my Lord done? What makes this rage and spite? He made the lame to run, He gave the blind their sight. Sweet injuries! Yet they at these themselves displease and ‘gainst Him rise.
They rise and needs will have my dear Lord made a way; A murderer they save, the Prince of Life they slay. Yet cheerful He to suff’ring goes that He His foes from thence might free.
In life no house, no home my Lord on earth might have; In death no friendly tomb but what a stranger gave. What may I say? Heav’n was His home but mine the tomb wherein He lay.
Here might I stay and sing, no story so divine! Never was love, dear King, never was grief like Thine. This is my friend, in whose sweet praise I all my days could gladly spend!
Hymn text by Samuel Crossman, 1624-83
“but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
O Christ, You walked the road our wandr’ing feet must go. You faced with us temptations power and fought our ancient foe.
No bread of earth alone can fill our hung’ring hearts. Lord, help us seek Your living Word, the food Your grace imparts.
No blinding sign we ask, no wonder from above. Lord, help us place our trust alone in Your unswerving love.
When lures of easy gain with promise brightly shine, Lord, help us seek Your kingdom first; our will with Yours align.
O Christ, You walked the road our wand’ring feet must go. Stay with us through temptation’s hour to fight our ancient foe.
Hymn text by Herman Stuempfle, Jr. 1923-2007
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” 1 Corinthians 10:12-14.
Jesus, refuge of the weary, blest Redeemer whom we love, Fountain in life’s desert dreary, Savior from the world above; Often have Your eye, offended, gazed upon the sinner’s fall; Yet upon the cross extended, You have borne the pain of all.
Do we pass that cross unheeding, breathing no repentant vow, though we see You wounded bleeding, see Your thorn-encrircled brow? Yet Your sinless death has brought us life eternal, peace and rest; only what Your grace has taught us calms the sinner’s deep distress.
Jesus, may our hearts be burning with more fervent love for you; may our eyes be ever turning to behold Your cross anew till in glory, parted never from the blessed Savior’s side, graven in our hearts forever, dwell the cross, the Crucified.
Hymn text by Girolamo Savonarola, 1452-98
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:10-12
On my heart imprint Your image, blessed Jesus, King of grace,
That life’s riches, cares, and pleasures never may Your work erase;
Let the clear inscription be: Jesus, crucified for me, is my life,
my hope’s foundation, and my glory and salvation!
Text by Thomas Hansen Kingo, 1634-1703
“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” Psalm 25:4-5