Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jesus I will Ponder Now

Help, O Christ, Thou God’s own Son,
Through Thy bittern anguish.
That our wills with Thine be one,
Zeal for evil vanquish.
On Thy death and its true cause
Contrite thoughts will render,
And Though weak and full of flaws,
Thee our thanks will tender.

They will look on the one they have pierced - John 19:37


When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the prince of glory died
My riches gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

The Passion of the Christ has been our focus through the sacred music of Johan Sebastian Bach these past three Wednesdays. We turn now to our final chorale – it is simply a prayer - that we may be one in Christ.

Help O Christ Thou God’s own Son
Through Thy bitter anguish
That our wills with Thee be one
Zeal for evil vanquish

I. We pray that our Will - may be one in the same as Christ’s. This we pray every time we pray the 3rd petition of the Lord’s Prayer – “Thy will be done” – Lord!

A. How is this done?

1. God’s good and gracious will is done among us by Himself – not us!

2. Specifically, when God breaks and hinders every evil counsel and will which would not let us hallow God’s name nor let His Kingdom come.

3. Those forces we contend with are the will of the devil, the world and our own sinful flesh.

B. God’s Good and gracious will is...

1. To strengthen and preserve us steadfast.

2. Keeping us faithful to His Word and faith unto our end. “Fear not, little flock, for it is Your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” -Luke 12:32

Transition: We pray that the Father’s will might be done in us. Viewing Christ’s Passion we render Him our thanks and praise.

II. Our focus thus is on Christ and His Cross

On Thy death and its true cause
Contrite thoughts will render

A. When we consider all that Jesus endured - His suffering, agony and bloody sweet we cry out for the Father to have mercy upon us.

1. With the beggar we cry, “Jesus, Master have mercy on me!”-Mark 10:47

2. Or, as the Kyrie would remind us; “Lord, have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord, have mercy.”

3. And, in the words of the Agnus Dei; “O Christ Thou Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world have mercy upon us and grant us Thy peace.”

B. And we thank Him!

And though weak and full of flaws
Thee our thanks will render

1. Thank You Jesus, that you have taken
away my guilt and my sin.

2. Thank you Jesus, that You prayed;
“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” -Luke 23:34

3. Thank You Jesus, who gave Stephen the
strength to pray; “Lord do not hold this sin against them!” –Acts 7:60 For this is how we ought to pray.

Conclusion: As we have pondered Christ’s holy Passion during this Lenten journey may we be moved to pray;

Grant that I may willingly
Bear with Thee my crosses,
Learning humbleness of Thee,
Peace mid pain and losses.
May I give thee love for love!
Hear me, O my Savior,
That I may in heaven above
Sing Thy praise forever.

Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. Bach's St. John Passion

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