More Faith, More Devotion

I have always been drawn to the hymn, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." The three verses that are written in it provide a rich source of what God supplies to us if we are willing and ready to open ourselves up to a deep and long-standing connection with Jesus, as part of the triune God.

Here is the first verse:

"What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.
"

What does this verse mean to you? How does it affect you spiritually and emotionally when you read it? For me, it raises my understanding of the nature of having a friendship with Jesus, which is a major part of experiencing what the love of God, through Christ, feels like in my daily life. It also calls me to act on my desire to continually seek Christ's unconditional love through faithful prayer and devotion, and it calls me to decide to what extent am I willing to maintain a strong connection with God through Jesus.

Another thing that draws me to this great hymn is the nature of the declarative statement, what a friend we have in Jesus. It speaks of how deeply the lyrical author felt about his friend Jesus, as a bearer of all his grief and the privilege to prayerfully share all things with Jesus. I sensed a great level of trust that has been built up from experience, and because of that trust, the author is expressing his allegiance to his friend Jesus and he wants those who sing this hymn to trust Jesus too.

It is from this perspective that I come to the Bible reading for this Sunday, from Luke 17:5-10. In that passage, Jesus answers a plea from his disciples. As you read Jesus' profound answer and follow-up question, remember to use the learnings that you drew from the hymn, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," and possibly what you imagined the author of the lyrics felt when he wrote them, when you wrestle with Jesus' response and teachings.

Copyright © 2021 First United Methodist Church, Downers Grove. Please report any problems to webmaster@dgfumc.org.