Not long ago I read an article about a woman whose husband was addicted to gambling. One night he broke down in front of her and admitted he had gambled away £100,000. In the article she spoke about the compromises and savings they had to make to pay off the debt but the worst part she said was the shame. “It was embarrassing to have to phone up the bank each day to check that my husband hadn’t had forged my signature.”
I suppose on some level we’ve all been embarrassed by someone we love. A child picking his nose through the school assembly; a friend making a drunken outburst at a leaving party; a partner snoring through a church service. Eventually you retell the anecdote and everybody laughs but the punchline is always the same — ‘I was so embarrassed of them’.
Being embarrassed of someone we love is the theme of Joseph Grigg’s hymn ‘Jesus, and shall it ever be’. In the hymn he asks whether anyone could ever be ashamed of Jesus. You won’t be surprised to hear that his answer is no!
Ashamed of Jesus, that dear friend
On whom my hopes of Heaven depend!
No! when I blush, be this my shame,
That I no more revere His name.
But Jesus is not only a friend. Jesus is Grigg’s wonderful saviour.
Ashamed of Jesus! – yes I may,
When I’ve no guilt to wash away,
No tear to wipe, no good to crave,
No fears to quell, no soul to save.
Finally in crescendo Grigg declares that:
Till then – nor is my boasting vain –
Till then I boast a Saviour slain;
And oh may this my glory be,
That Christ is not ashamed of me!
When we tell someone that we are a Christian it is sometimes tempting to wonder what their reaction will be. What will people think of us? What assumptions will
they make? Will they think we’re odd, old fashioned, bigoted or, perish the thought, weird? Joseph Grigg’s hymn makes us think of things the other way round. We are followers of Jesus ‘on whom our hopes of heaven depend”.
The Saviour loves you. He has condescended to come into the world to save you from sin and death. May you enjoy that thought today and allow it to influence how you speak of him to your friends and family.
As we worship you this week, may you lead us to delight in Christ as you delight in him.
May we see and understand his love and sacrifice with renewed clarity.
May he be so precious to us.
Please present us with an opportunity to speak of Christ and may we take it with joy.
For our good and His glory