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Pastor’s Message




  1. Jesus, Refuge of the weary, Blest redeemer, whom we love,
            Fountain in life’s desert dreary, Savior from the world above:
            Often have Your eyes, offended, Gazed upon the sinners fall;
            Yet upon the cross extended, You have borne the pain of all.
  1. Do we pass the cross unheeding, Breathing no repentant vow,
            Though we see you wounded, bleeding, See Your thorn-encircled brow?
            Yet Your sinless death has brought us Life eternal, peace, and rest;
            Only what Your grace has taught us Calms the sinner’s deep distress.
  1. Jesus, may our hearts be burning With more fervent love for you;
             May our eyes be ever turning To behold Your Cross anew
             Till in glory, parted never From the blessed Savior’s side,
             Graven in our hearts forever, Dwell the cross, the Crucified. 

             Text:  Firolamo Savonarola, Translated by Jane F. Wilde


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

            So often what I share with you is what has been a blessing to me.  Recently I was feeling particularly tired and weary as I did my morning devotions.  I was using the Daily Office Service for Morning from our hymnal on p. 295.  One of the rubrics in red suggests that you sing a hymn.  I turned to the Lenten section of the Hymnal and this title, Jesus, Refuge of the Weary, caught my attention, so I sang the hymn sitting there at my desk.  (Don’t worry, Kathy wasn’t in her office yet or that might have been awkward for me and painful for her!)  Both the music of this hymn and its words proved to be a great source of refreshment for me that day.

            There are many things that make us weary:  Having an overly busy schedule where there is more to do than we can get done.  Strenuous physical or mental labor.  Having something hanging over your head that you haven’t accomplished or that you need to do soon but you know is going to be difficult.  Coping with a serious problem or challenge that has no easy solution.  Being around the same people for long periods of time.  Dealing with a physical or mental illness for yourself or a loved one.  Struggling with a sin that keeps getting the better of you.  Bearing a heavy burden of guilt and/or shame.  I’m sure you could add to my short list here.

            Are you feeling weary?  This hymn points you to Jesus.  He is a “refuge for people who are weary”—a safe place where you can lay your burdens down and rest.  He is a “fountain in life’s desert dreary.”  This means that He is a constant source of refreshment that nourishes our lives.  I have come to realize that often I feel the most weary when I “pass the cross unheeding, breathing no repentant vow.”  I get so busy and wrapped up in my responsibilities that I don’t take time to just stop and look to the cross where “we see you wounded, bleeding, see Your thorn-encircled brow.”   Through His suffering, Christ brings us “life eternal, peace and rest…that calms the sinners deep distress.”  There is such refreshment as we look to Jesus and see how much we are loved, and as we remember what is ours through His death and resurrection and that this is secure and can’t be taken from us.  I sang verse two and just let out a deep sigh of contentment. 

            Rejuvenated by Jesus, I appreciated the prayer of verse 3, “Jesus, may our hearts be burning with more fervent love for you…”  Isn’t that awesome, when the hymn starts we are weighed down by weariness, but by the end of the hymn we are burning with fervent love that wants to serve the Lord!  Such is the refreshment that the Lord continues to provide in the fruits of the cross that we are rejuvenated to go out and serve the Lord.  Within the pages of this newsletter you will find a brief volunteer survey.  I would encourage you, even if you feel weary now, to take a look at it and fill it out and turn it in.  The Lord’s refreshment and nourishment for us is so great that what we receive from Him we want to share with others.  God’s blessings to you and I would encourage you to spend some devotional time with this hymn, Jesus, Refuge of the Weary.  May the Lord grant you rest and refreshment in Jesus!               

Refreshed in Christ,

Pastor Liebich