Friday, June 18, 2021

Saturday prior to Proper 7


Sunday’s hymn of the day, Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me (LSB 715), uses the imagery of a stormy sea to represent the trials and tribulations which are part of our lives as long as we live in this fallen, sinful world. But Jesus is able to still those seas, as He did the Sea of Galilee, and bring comfort to us. True comfort can come only through Jesus, for He is our Salvation.

Edward Hopper was born in New York City on February 17, 1818. His father was a merchant and his mother a descendant of the Huguenots, the persecuted French Protestants. In 1870, he began the most fruitful phase of his ministry when he became pastor of a church in New York harbor known as the “Church of Sea and Land.” Here he ministered most effectively for the remaining years of his life to the many sailors who made their way to and from their ships.

It was while ministering at his sailor’s mission that Edward Hopper wrote this hymn text especially for the spiritual needs of these sea-faring men. He wrote it anonymously, as he did all of his works, and for some time no one ever knew that the pastor of the sailors was also the author of the sailor’s favorite hymn. Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me has been included in nearly every evangelical hymnal published until the present time. Through the years it has been a hymn that is especially meaningful to young people sincerely concerned about knowing God’s will for their lives.

At the age of seventy-two, Edward Hopper’s prayer expressed in the third stanza of his immortal hymn had its complete fulfillment when he died in 1888. He was found sitting in his study chair, pencil in hand, writing a new poem on the subject of heaven. [2]

When at last I near the shore, and the fearful breakers roar
Twixt me and the peaceful rest —then, while leaning on Thy breast,
May I hear Thee say to me, “Fear not — I will pilot thee.”

Prayer at the close of the day: Abide with us, Lord, for it is toward evening and the day is far spent. Abide with us and with Your whole Church. Abide with us at the end of the day, at the end of our life, at the end of the world. Abide with us with Your grace and goodness, with Your holy Word ad Sacrament, with Your strength and blessing. Abide with us when the night of affliction and temptation comes upon us, the night of fear and despair, the night when death draws near. Abide with us and with all the faithful, now and forever.[3]

19 June 2021

[1]-Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts “Jesus asleep in the ship” copyright © WELS for personal and congregational use

[3] Collect at the close of the day, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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