Monday, March 07, 2005

Kierkegaard: Not to admire but to follow


O LORD Jesus Christ, Thou didst not come into the world to be served,
But also surely not to be admired, or in that false sense to be worshipped.
Thou wast the Way and the Truth –
And it was followers only Thou didst demand.
Arouse us therefore, if we have dozed away into this delusion:
Save us from the error of wishing to admire Thee
Instead of being willing to follow Thee and resemble Thee


O LORD Jesus Christ, who didst behold Thy fate in advance
And yet didst not draw back;
Thou who didst suffer Thyself to be born in poverty and lowliness,
And thereafter in poverty and loneliness didst bear the sin of the world,
Being ever a sufferer, until, hated, forsaken,
Mocked, and spat upon,
In the end deserted even by God…
Thou didst bow Thy head in the death of shame ---
Oh, but Thou didst lift it up again, Thou eternal Victor!
Thou wast not, it is true, victorious over Thine enemies in this life,
But in death wast victorious even over death;
Thou didst lift up Thy head, forever victorious, Thou who art ascended to heaven!
Would that we might follow Thee!


O LORD Jesus Christ, it was not to plague us humans
But to save us that Thou didst say,
“No one can serve two masters” ---
Oh, that we might be willing to accept it, by doing it,
That is, by following Thee.
Thou who art both willing and able to help, help us all and everyone…
Thou who art both the Pattern and Redeemer,
And again both the Redeemer and Pattern,
So that when we sink under the Pattern,
The Redeemer raises us up again!
And, at the same instant Thou art also the Pattern, to keep us continually striving for Thee!
Thou, our Redeemer, by Thy blessed suffering and death,
Hast made satisfaction for all and for everything;
No eternal blessedness can be earned by us --- but it has been deserved for us!
Yet Thou didst leave behind Thee the trace of Thy footsteps,
Thou the holy pattern of the human race,
And of each individual in it,
So that, saved by Thy redemption, we might every instant have confidence and boldness of will to strive to follow Thee!


Strong Son of God, Savior of the world, in Thy name and for Thy sake we pray! Have this mercy upon us,


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