Fourth Sunday in Lent
Week of: March 11, 2018
Scripture: Ephesians 2:1-10
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.
(Ephesians 2:4-5, NIV)
Each week during the season of Lent 2018, the Reflections will explore the lectionary text through the lens of a representative hymn.
"Jesus, Lover of My Soul,"
United Methodist Hymnal 479. Text by Charles Wesley.
Charles Wesley wrote "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" soon after his conversion. The lyrics hold rich imagery for us to explore. In the opening words, we pray to Jesus as the "lover of my soul" — proclaiming the depth of love that Jesus has for our very soul.
The hymn contains images of our being "covered." We are covered and protected in times of trial (Psalm 107:30). We are covered when we open ourselves fully to God and confess our sinfulness. We are covered in the embracing grace of Jesus Christ — enough to cover all our transgressions!
You will also find images of water in the text: a flood of trials, such as in Job 27:20 and Psalm 29:10, and healing water found in the image of the fountain of life.
In reflecting on these words and images, drink in the deeply personal nature of each stanza, the idea that you must uncover your deepest sin to God, even as God will provide cover, comfort, and boundless grace.
As a part of your closing devotions this week, consider inviting each of your ensembles, religious arts participants, and other worship team members to share what it means to have Jesus love them as deeply as is described in this hymn.
Grace-giving Lord, thank you for life and for providing healing streams enough to cover all my sin. I ask for grace to take freely what you have offered. Amen.
Director of Music Ministries
St. John's United Methodist Church