Lenten Hymns and their Story

March 24, 2023

“Jesus, I will Ponder Now”

This favorite and historic Lenten hymn written by Sigismund von Birken (1626-81) first appeared in print in 1663.  It’s 6 verses remain virtually unchanged for the last 360 years.  
The first verse is a prayer for the Holy Spirit to help the singer meditate or ponder on the Passion of Christ.  This is according to His own promise: “but when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about Me” [John 15:26].  Verse 2 proceeds to review the facts of the Passion: the great distress, anguish, and affliction, the scourging, the nails, the crown of thorns, His vicarious death [Isaiah 53].  
Verse 3 is the theological interpretation: it identifies the sin of the world as the cause of Christ’s Passion [Romans 4:25].
The last three verses are a prayer for Christ’s Passion to have it’s proper effect as a help in fighting against sin, overcoming the grieving conscience, and enduring suffering with a thankful heart.     

Jesus, I will ponder now on Your holy passion;
With Your Spirit me endow for such meditation.
Grant that I in love and faith may the image cherish
Of Your suff’ring, pain, and death that I may not perish.

LSB 440

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