First Steps – September 30, 2019

When I answered the call to ministry, I was scared to death. To say I felt unqualified was an understatement. I carried this preconceived thought of self-doubt into seminary. Crazy as it might sound, I knew I was in the right theological school, for the right reason, and at the right time; yet, when I looked around at everyone else, I definitely didn’t see equal footing.

On my first day of school, I remember walking down the hallway and expecting someone to step out from an office and say, “Sir, I don’t think you belong here.” About halfway through my first semester, something wonderful happen. I was introduced to Charles Wesley’s Hymn, And Can It Be. It was the first hymn of Tuesday chapel (there were two chapel services each week: Tuesday and Thursday).

As we sang that particular hymn I was awestruck. The words spoke directly to me.

And can it be that I should gain an int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be, that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Amazing love! How can it be, that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

’Tis myst’ry all: th’ Immortal dies: Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries to sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore, let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above—so free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free, for, O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray—I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head, and clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’ eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ my own.

I remember walking out of chapel that day knowing that things were going to be fine. Till this day, this hymn remains one of my favorites. Hymns have a way of speaking to us when other things can’t. I’m grateful for this hymn and the words of Charles Wesley. It has made a difference in my life.

This week’s reading:

  • Monday – Acts 27
  • Tuesday – Acts 28
  • Wednesday – Mark 1
  • Thursday – Mark 2
  • Friday – Mark 3

Please Pray for:

  • The St. Paul Church family.
  • Those who are unwillingly absent.
  • Those who are grieving and depressed.
  • Ongoing Building Renovations, Modifications.
  • The United Methodist Church.
  • Our nation and our leaders.
  • The World.