THIS WEEK’S THEME: My rock and my redeemer
DEVOTIONAL: I have been given many presents over the years, but one gift in particular is especially important to me. It is a hymnal given to me by my church the spring before I went off to college. Books given as presents often have a special message written on the inside that offers word of advice, but my hymnal does not. Instead, everyone in my congregation signed their name in the margins of their favorite hymn. When singing a hymn, I often think of those whose favorite hymn it is and say a short prayer for them.
When focusing on this week’s theme, “My rock and my redeemer,” I found myself poring over the well-known hymn, “In the rifted Rock I’m resting.” The hymn is a confession, proclaiming that Jesus — our Redeemer and Rock — creates a space for us where we can find shelter and rest from the storms of life. The image of Jesus creating a space to hold us is a powerful metaphor. As we are protected safely in this space created for us, we find Jesus placing himself between us and the storm. Storms often come in many forms. For me, life’s storms this past year have included moving, stress, strained relationships, limited personal time and dealing with my mother’s cancer. But amidst the life’s brewing storms, I have found solace in God’s redeeming Rock. Printed below is the first verse of the hymn. May it be your prayer as you go throughout the week.
In the rifted Rock I’m resting,
safely sheltered I abide.
There no foes nor storms molest me,
while within the cleft I hide.
Now I’m resting, sweetly resting,
in the cleft once made for me.
Jesus, blessed Rock of ages,
I will hide myself in thee.