Lenten Hymns and their Story

March 02, 2023

“Jesus, Refuge of the Weary”

Late 13th century Italy saw the rise of a new type of singing in the church that was different that the typical liturgy.  These were usually religious processions, devotional assemblies of laity with a sermon given at the end of the procession.  One of these preachers was Girolamo Savonarola [1452-98]. 30-40 years after his death, his work began was finally published by these people, at first outside of the church, then the church took over publication.
Verse 1 is a prayer to Jesus, who is literally a “refuge to the weary” according to His own promise: [Matthew11:28-29]. He is a “fountain in life’s desert dreary” [Psalm 36:9] who is “from the world above”, as He invites us to drink the water that wells up to eternal life.  
Verse 2 asks the memorable and often quoted of self-examination, “do we pass that cross un-heeding, breathing no repentant vow?”   Ignorance or neglect is no less a sin than that of those who passed by His cross.  
The sorrow of true repentance prepare the way for the gift of faith that prays, as in verse three, for more fervent, heartfelt love for Christ [Song of Solomon 8:6].  Such faith and love lift our hearts and eyes always to behold the cross of Jesus, which has now become our own to bear as we follow Him.

Jesus, refuge of the weary, blest Redeemer, whom we love,
Fountain in life’s desert dreary, Savior from the world above:
Often have Your eyes, offended, gazed upon the sinner’s fall;
Yet upon the cross extended, You have borne the pain of all.

LSB 423

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *