Away during Lent.

“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.  “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”  1 Peter 2:23-24 

Living in Haiti during Lent was one of the seasons that I missed being home the most; being separated from the Lutheran hymns during Lent was truly difficult.  The attached photo was taken at Bon Berger Evangelique Lutherienne in Caredeux where I attended worship while in PAP.  The elevated wooden cross reminded me of the suffering on my Savior, the Scripture readings, the messages, the creeds also brought me closer to recalling what Christ endured for me. 

I missed hearing the hymns in my own language.  Stricken, smitten and afflicted in Creole was just not the same.  This hymn was first written around 1850 by Geistliche Volkslieder and was sung to the German tune “O Mein Jesu, Ich Muss Sterben.”   

“Stricken, smitten, and afflicted, see him dying on the tree!  This is Christ, by man rejected; here, my soul, your Savior see.  He’s the long expected prophet, David’s son, yet David’s Lord.  Proofs I see sufficient of it: He’s the true and faithful Word.  Tell me, all who hear him groaning, was there ever grief like this?  Friends through fear his cause disowning, foes insulting his distress; many hands were raised to wound him, none would intervene to save; but the deepest stroke that pierced him was the stroke that justice gave.  “You who think of sin but lightly nor suppose the evil great, here may view its nature rightly, here its guilt may estimate.  Mark the sacrifice appointed; see who bears the awful load; it’s the Word, the Lord’s Anointed, Son of Man and son of God.  Here we have a firm foundation; here the refuge of the lost; Christ, the rock of our salvation, His the name of which we boast.  Lamb of God, for sinners wounded, sacrifice to cancel guilt!  None shall ever be confounded who on him their hope have built.”  

The common bond during Lent in Haiti was the reminder that Christ died for me and for each of the people sitting in my same pew in Bon Berger, and also sitting in the pews at Christ Lutheran in Lincoln, NE and sitting in your Church.  We all need Jesus; we all were lost until He died on the cross for our sins.  Thank you Lord Jesus, for enduring the suffering, agony and cross of Calvary for such as us, and for all the people in this world. 

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen.  

May God be with you…Jay