“Return from Denial.”
In one of the classic hymns associated with the season of Lent, Scottish-born writer James Montgomery, author of over four hundred hymns, penned this thoughtful prayer: “In the hour of trial, Jesus, plead for me Lest by base denial I depart from Thee.” (LW 511:1). Although the language of the hymn reflects the era in which it was written almost two hundred years ago, the central concern is a valid today as it was when the stanza was written. The phrase “base denial” calls to mind the disciple Peter, who disowns his Lord while in the courtyard of the house of the high priest. At times in our lives, we may be tempted to deny our Lord and to act as though our faith is not central to who we are. It is then that we can draw strength from remembering the forgiveness won for us by our suffering Lord, who calls us even from “base denial” to return to Him.