Sunday, March 24
Note: Writers on Sundays were asked to address the power of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in their lives.
Lord Who Throughout These 40 Days
Claudia Hernaman (1839-1898)
Tune: St. Flavian, C.M.
Our congregation often sings this simple yet earnest hymn every Lenten season. The reason: the verses track closely with our own Lenten journey. We first notice that the title, “Lord Who Throughout These 40 Days,” includes the number, 40. Forty is, of course, a number which recurs throughout the Bible with special significance. We recall:
• Noah’s flood: It rained for 40 days, and Noah waited another 40 days before opening the window of the Ark;
• The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years;
• Moses, Elijah, and Jesus fasted in the desert for 40 days each; and
• Jesus was seen on earth, 40 days after the resurrection.
Lord, who throughout these forty days for us did fast and pray, teach us with you to mourn our sins and close by you to stay.
The first verse of this hymn reminds us immediately that the purpose of Lent is to use the 40 days as a time of reflection, through increased prayer as an opportunity to grow closer to Jesus, as a way to accompany Jesus as He was moving through his own 40 days of trials prior to Crucifixion and Resurrection.
And through these days of penitence, and through your Passiontide, forevermore, in life and death, O Lord, with us abide.
This verse offers us comfort that no matter the trials and tribulations that we Christians and our Church face, we can always rest assured that we abide in faith with the Lord. We will not be left comfortless.
Abide with us, that through this life of doubts and hope and pain, an Easter of unending joy we may at last attain!
The final stanza rejoices that at the end of our own troubles and pain, the joys of Easter and promise of Resurrection await us all.
Prayer: As we move through the 40 days of Lent, let us use this time for prayer, reflection, and spiritual growth. Amen.
Kathleen Burger Gerada