Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Brother's Keeper

I'm going to defer this week to my dear brother in the ministry, Pastor Jonathan Lange of Evanston, Wyoming.  He has written a little piece about the Penn State tragedy.  It is appearing in several newspapers this week, including the Casper Star Tribune.

Peace of Christ,
Pastor Matt

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hymn Notes

"O Let Me Only Jesus See" is a prayer to the Holy Spirit asking Him to show me only God's beloved Son who became man and humbled Himself (Phil. 2:8).

For the two-stanza text of the hymn, see last week's devotion.

The hymn is inspired by Matthew 17:8, a verse which comes at the end of the Transfiguration account: "And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only."

"Jesus only."  What does that mean?  It means not only that there were no more Moses and Elijah, cloud and voice.  It means, most of all, that Jesus went back to being a Lord you could look at.  Only Jesus.

"Only Jesus" is God's eternal Son bright-shining as the sun, but who comes and conceals all of that in order to draw near to poor sinners to comfort them.

The day is coming when I will be able to behold Him in His glory forever.  But for now, in this life and death, O let me only Jesus see - a vision that becomes complete in gazing at Him on the cross.  (And could not the cross be the true Transfiguration and the true glory of God?)

"Fill my eyes" (stanza 2) means no room for anything else - only Jesus crucified for me.

"My Lord" (stanza 1) and "my God" (stanza 2) borrows from the confession of Thomas in John 20:28.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

O Let Me Only Jesus See

In Matthew 17, toward the end of the story of Jesus' transfiguration, we read:

"And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only" (Matt. 17:8).

In meditation on this verse, I was led to write the following little hymn.  It may be sung to the tune of "Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow."

O let me only Jesus see,
My Lord in His humility!
No other God, no other sight,
Can take away my sinful fright.

O let me only Jesus see,
My God in my humanity!
O Spirit, come, lift up my eyes,
And fill them with the Crucified!

Next week I'll offer a few notes on this prayer and the meaning it holds for me.

Note: A special solo arrangement of this hymn will be sung this coming Sunday, July 15, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.