Week of: February 25, 2018
Scripture: Romans 4:13-25
He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
(Romans 4:25, NIV)
Each week during the season of Lent 2018, the Reflections will explore the lectionary text through the lens of a representative hymn.
"Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,"
United Methodist Hymnal 349. Text by Helen Howarth Lemmel.
The original title of "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" was “Heavenly Vision” — a strong metaphor for us. So many visions in this world seem brighter than the heavenly vision of Jesus.
Our family's dog, Barnabas, is named after one of Paul's companions. Mostly, he is the epitome of his name, "Son of Encouragement," save one major fault. When we are out walking and he sees another person or dog, he lunges and barks. After many frustrating walks, we discovered that if we anticipate such an encounter by saying, “look at me, Barnabas — keep looking at me,” we distract him, avoiding the undesirable behavior.
As we walk through this life with its bright, earthly visions that do not glorify God, God says to us, “look at me!” Sing the chorus to yourself next time you are tempted, lonely, sad, or discouraged.
Absorb the words of the final stanza to “go to a world that is dying.” Ponder how you might first turn your eyes to the Savior, then look to the world with different eyes, seeing where you can make a difference!
Consider inviting each of your ensembles, religious arts participants, and other worship team members to sing this hymn at the beginning of their prayer time each morning this week, changing the word “your” to “my.”
Lord, let us turn our eyes upon you, no matter the temptations and visions in this world that are not heavenly. Let us stand in the light of your glory and grace. Amen.
Director of Music Ministries
St. John's United Methodist Church