“When My Love To Christ Grows Weak”
You’ve sung this song so many times, you probably are humming the tune as you read the title. We often sing it before the distribution of the Lord’s Supper. It’s slow, sort of like a funeral dirge, and reflective. It seems appropriate for such a somber and important memorial. But have you ever thought about the depth of the lyrics?
When my love to Christ grows weak,
When for deeper faith I seek,
Then in thought I go to thee,
Garden of Gethsemane.
When my love for man grows weak,
When for stronger faith I seek,
Hill of Calvary, I go
To the scenes of fear and woe.
There behold His agony,
Suffered on the bitter tree;
See His anguish, see His faith,
Love triumphant still in death.
Then to life I turn again,
Learning all the worth of pain,
Learning all the might that lies
In a full self-sacrifice.
This song implies that the answer for weak faith and diminished focus on God is to return to the crucifixion and suffering of our Jesus. When we sing this song, we remind ourselves of the importance of dwelling on the thoughts of the cross.
But not merely at the times of memorial and communion. Rather, we are in this song admitting our need to spend time at the cross every day of the week.
When we struggle to wake up with excitement about serving God today, we must dwell on the cross. When we want to give that coworker a piece of our minds because of their ill treatment of us, we remember the silence of Jesus before His accusers. When we struggle to see God’s answers to our desperately offered prayers, we turn to Jesus’ prayers in the Garden to gain faith. When we struggle to live for God in the small decisions, we look at the way Jesus followed Him in every decision.
Seeing Jesus’ agony and suffering is a sobering and constant reminder for us to that life is about more than paychecks, fairness, and entertainment. Yet, this is what the world would want you to focus. They want you upset about life. They want you depressed about the news. They want you to get angry at the way you’re treated. They want you to sacrifice to the world to get what you want.
Jesus wants the opposite and He proved it with His life. He wants you to learn that all the pain, all the lies, all the difficulties of life are merely exercises in “self-sacrifice.” He sacrificed it all for you so we can sacrifice it all for Him.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12.1-2).