From the Kantor

“Catechumenate: Learning the Gifts”

Last month I shared some observations from Richard C. Resch and how “hymns are teachers of the faith.” The themes on the Sundays in Lent address the question: How do the gifts of Jesus shape our lives? Some answers are found in the hymn, “Let Us Ever Walk with Jesus.”

Stanzas one and two guide us through “the YES” and “NO” of “learning the Gifts.” – “NO” to the deception of the world and “YES” enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit, to following where He guides. The reference to “all discomforts that annoy”, takes us back to those nagging sins of which we need to repent. Through repentance, we receive the joy of forgiveness, “shall give way to mirth hereafter.” Stanza three continues the instruction in the way of repentance “let us mortify all passion” and saying NO. The text of stanza three continues with Jesus’ dying, and since He died, we too will die. However, stanza four doesn’t leave us in the grave. “Let us also live with Jesus. He has risen from the dead….life eternal grant to me.” We are bound to Him and He to us in baptism. We live in the constant hope of His life, death, and resurrection—”We are Your own living members, where You live, there we shall be in Your presence constantly, living there with you forever!

    1 Let us ever walk with Jesus, follow His example pure,
    Through a world that would deceive us and to sin our spirits lure.
    Onward in His footsteps treading, pilgrims here, our home above,
    Full of faith and hope and love, Let us do the Father’s bidding.
    Faithful Lord, with me abide; I shall follow where You guide.

    2 Let us suffer here with Jesus and with patience bear our cross.
    Joy will follow all our sadness; where He is, there is no loss.
    Though today we sow no laughter, we shall reap celestial joy;
    All discomforts that annoy shall give way to mirth hereafter.
    Jesus, here I share Your woe; help me there Your joy to know.

    3 Let us gladly die with Jesus. Since by death He conquered death,
    He will free us from destruction, give to us immortal breath.
    Let us mortify all passion that would lead us into sin;
    And the grave that shuts us in shall but prove the gate to heaven.
    Jesus, here with You I die, there to live with You on high.

    4 Let us also live with Jesus. He has risen from the dead
    That to life we may awaken. Jesus, You are now our head.
    We are Your own living members; where You live, there we shall be
    In Your presence constantly, living there with You forever.
    Jesus, let me faithful be, life eternal grant to me.

    Text: © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship. Used by permission: LSB Hymn  License no. 130002490

    Joy in Jesus,

    Kantor Irene Beethe