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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, May 28, 2020  

Today’s Hymn

Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee;
take my moments and my days;
let them flow in ceaseless praise;
let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love;
take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee,
swift and beautiful for thee.

“Take My Life” (vv. 1–2) by Frances Ridley Havergal
Hymn 697, Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

Reflection
When I first read this hymn, I immediately started humming a similar song I played on guitar during my Catholic Campus Ministry days at DePaul University. “Take My Life/Holiness” was a common choice during our praise hours and on weekend retreats. While it wasn’t the most exciting or “poppy” tune in our repertoire, it was a group favorite, and I never really thought about why until I likened it to today’s devotional hymn. Both songs have a simple tune and phrasing, with a repetition that drives the message home: Take my life.

Normally we’d prefer control over our environment and the ability to go where we please and do what we please. Unfortunately we no longer have that unlimited freedom. It’s new, different, and can be more unnerving than we’d like sometimes. But as people of faith, it also gives us the opportunity to consider these limitations somewhat. . . freeing.

Think of the times when life has evolved far beyond your human ability to control a situation. You probably got to the point where you threw up your hands and said to God, “It’s all up to you now!” This is definitely one of those times. Of course, there are things we can do individually and collectively to prevent this pandemic from getting worse. But as humans and disciples, we can also take this time to realize that many of the things we thought were so important—like our desire for possessions and conveniences—need to be sacrificed for the greater good. We should instead strengthen our roots in what really matters—our relationships, our community, our care for our sisters and brothers, and our faith in God, just to name a few. Let us always be willing to say, “take my life” and feel free in that sacrifice.

Prayer
Loving God, while we may continue to feel unsettled and anxious, let us also consider feeling free of worry, because you are able to carry us and lead us if we allow you to do so. Amen.

Written by Jackie Lorens Harris, Director, Chicago Lights Elam Davies Social Service Center

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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