Listening Through Lent: Can It Be?

    When I was in high school I was  in a male quartet, I was the baritone. We sang mostly in churches. One of the songs we sang was, “And Can It Be?” It became one of my all time favorite hymns as the words resonated in my heart.

   On more than one occasion in my turbulent life I would ask myself the question posed in the hymn. And can it be he died for me who caused His pain? Why did the Sovereign Lord choose me in Christ to know His great salvation?

   That question echoed down at various times during my earthly sojourn, and still does. There is only one answer as the hymn declares, “ so infinite His grace . . . .O my God it found out me.”

     At such a moment I understand Spurgeon’ testimony uttered on his death bed, “ I can’t remember much,” he said, “ but these two things I do, I am a great sinner and Jesus is a great Savior.”    Here are two of my favorite stanzas.

     And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Saviors blood?
     Died He for me who caused His Pain? For me who Him to death pursued?
     Amazing love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
    No condemnation now I dread, Jesus and all in Him is mine!
   Alive in Him my living head. And clothed in righteousness divine,
   Behold I approach the eternal throne, and claim the crown through Christ my own.
Charles Wesley was a colossal failure as a missionary to the new American colony. The reason was he went in his own strength and  smarts. He was arrogant and introduced customs which offended many. One woman actually fired a gun at him.  On his return to England through the  preaching of a Moravian pastor he found the Savior. “I felt my heart strangely warmed”, he said. He then began to write a hymn at his conversion. Historians believe it was this hymn.
~Pastor Jack Matheis


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