Sunday, May 8, 2011

As Long as I Journey

Since making the announcement to my congregation that I would be leaving, my life has been a jumble of emotions. There is great excitement and anticipation about what my future holds. I am eager to go and join this new community and to get to know them and to get situated there and start my life with them. There is also some anxiousness and nervousness. I am hopeful that I will fit in, that I will do good work there, that I will be what this community needs and that they will be what I need. But there is also a lot of sadness. I have been blessed to know some wonderful people here in my current setting. To embark on this new journey means saying good bye to them. Our relationships will never again be the way they are right now. I will not be as much a part of their lives as I have been these past five years. I will have to say good bye to the young people that I've seen grow and change in crazy and amazing ways. I will have to say good bye to people who have invited me into their homes and their lives, who have been my friends and surrogate families while I have been here. It is not easy to say good bye.

So my life has been a crazy experience of emotions lately. I was going to say it has been a roller coaster, but with a roller coaster you have very defined highs and lows. Sometimes my emotions are like that, easy to define and figure out which one I am feeling. But often it has been hard to define my emotions, sometimes I've felt great excitement and sadness at the same time, or great eagerness simultaneously with great nervousness.

The other day I happened to be flipping through our worship hymnal, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, and I came across a hymn that I became familiar with because of my friends Ben and Renee Larson, Jon Larson and Elly McHan. They are friends from seminary who are all very gifted in ministry and music. The first time I heard it was when they were singing it. Ben also happens to be my friend who we tragically lost in the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. This song was sung at his memorial service at Luther College. As I looked through it, I happened to notice that at the bottom it said that it was written by a L'Arche Community. I might have noticed that before, but this time, of course, it jumped out at me.

Then, today, I received a note from a friend who had just read my announcement. He asked if we were going to sing this same song at my final service at church because it was written by a L'Arche Community. It is actually very meaningful and applicable to where I am in my life right now, and so I thought I would share it with you here.

Lord Jesus, You Shall Be My Song
by Les Petites Souers de Jesus and L'Arche Community; tr. Stephan Somerville

Lord Jesus, you shall be my song as I journey;
I'll tell ev'rybody about you wherever I go:
you alone are our life and our peace and our love.
Lord Jesus, you shall be my song as I journey.

Lord Jesus, I'll praise you as long as I journey.
May all of my joy be a faithful reflection of you.
May the earth and the sea and the sky join my song.
Lord Jesus, I'll praise you as long as I journey.

As long as I live, Jesus, make me your servant,
to carry your cross and to share all your burdens and tears.
For you saved me by giving your body and blood.
As long as I live, Jesus, make me your servant.

I fear in the dark and the doubt of my journey;
but courage will come with the sound of your steps by my side.
And with all of the fam'ly you saved by your love,
we'll sing to your dawn at the end of our journey.

1 comment:

  1. I had to come back and find this post. We sang this song yesterday at the SWMN WELCA convention. April Larson led us in it and I immediately thought of you! We are going to miss you being so close!