In the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the true gift of God, the Lord offers humankind life, forgiveness, and blessing for all who believe in him for salvation. As Jesus promises, he offers to all who hear that living water which becomes, within each one who believes, a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
When the disciples offered Jesus food after returning from town, he told them he had food they did not know of. His “food” was to do the will of him who sent him, and to accomplish his work. Jesus’s devotion to the Father’s will and purpose was complete and all-consuming, providing us today with a pattern by which to understand our life of submission to him.
Father, so cleanse and prepare our hearts that we, like Jesus, may declare that our food and fulfillment comes from doing your will and accomplishing your work. In Jesus’s name, amen.
On the hymn, Amazing Grace: “At the level of imagery, the poem is built around a great contrast that puts two worlds on a collision course. One is a world of sin and fallenness—not just spiritually in a sinner’s personal life, but in the whole earthly order. The vocabulary continually keeps this world of decay and misery alive in our awareness, with words like wretch, lost, blind, dangers, toils, snares, fail, cease, dissolve like snow, and refuse to shine. Set over against this lower world of unideal experience is an upper world of ideal experience, portrayed with words like grace, found, good, hope, shield and portion, joy and peace, shining as the sun. The poem thus roots us in the fallen earthly order but promises us the best that can be imagined. It is a song of hope, comfort, and confidence, with misery functioning as a foil to heighten the vision of bliss.”
~ Leland Ryken, 40 Favorite Hymns on the Christian Life: A Closer Look at Their Spiritual and Poetic Meaning. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2019. pp. 22-23.
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