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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, March 2, 2020  

Today’s Hymn

We walk by faith and not by sight;
with gracious words draw near,
O Christ, who spoke as none e’er spoke:
“My peace be with you here.”

We may not touch your hands and side,
nor follow where you trod;
but in your promise we rejoice,
and cry, “My Lord and God!”

“We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight” (vv. 1–2) by Henry Alford
Hymn 817, Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

This Lenten hymn was written in 1844 by Englishman and cleric Henry Alford, who compiled his first hymnbook at age eleven and whose best-known hymn is a Thanksgiving hymn, “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come.” In our hymnal, today’s tune—with its steady, walking-style pace—was composed by Samuel McFarland and called Dunlap’s Creek after a Fayette County, Pennsylvania, stream.

The lyrics emanate from Paul’s epistle in 2 Corinthians 5:7, which he wrote to thank the majority of Corinthians who had a change of heart about Paul, whom they initially considered unstable, dishonest, and unqualified to be Christ’s apostle.

Consider these short verses. In our “show me” world, it’s a daily challenge to “walk by faith, not by sight.” Yet we choose to do so countless times in our lives in making major and hour-by-hour decisions. Choosing a profession, a partner, a job offer, and even a church. And how many times do we place our faith in someone or something we’ve never seen? Certainly we often ask for guidance in confronting these daily situations. At the same time, it’s clear we simply require faith in our Lord and Savior.

Faithful Father, we recognize that the life and ministry of your Son, Jesus Christ, informs and inspires our faith. And we acknowledge that you are all we need to do your will and your commandments. Thank you for letting us rejoice in your mercy, even in things we cannot readily see. Continue to illuminate that we can be confident, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Amen.

Written by Tim Schellhardt, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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