Poems and Prayers for Lent 5

Through the season of Lent at Collins Street, we are reading Mark’s version of the passion of Christ, especially chapters 14 and 15. In our worship services and our personal devotional times (with the help of a daily guide for reading and prayer), we are following Jesus in his journey to the cross. It’s a harrowing story. No matter how many times you’ve read it before, it never comes easily.

At the moment we are with Jesus in his last meal with his followers. Mark’s account is full of the anxiety that overshadowed their gathering, the pain of betrayal, the self-doubt and fear that gripped each person there, and the sobering words of Jesus as he anticipates the surrender of his own life-blood ‘poured out for many.’

This is no trickling out of love on Jesus’ part, but a complete surrender. And made not just for an elite few but for everyone.

In one of our readings last week, we reflected on the words of an old hymn. Penned back in 1882 by the Scotsman George Matheson, the words of response to this extraordinary show of love on Jesus’ part still resonate.

O love that will not let me go
I rest my weary soul in thee
I give thee back the life I owe
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

My friends Graham and Merle sent me a link today to a version of this old hymn that is worth hearing. It’s not a tune I recognise immediately, but beautiful all the same.

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