Via Bethlehem we journey

1
Via Bethlehem we journey,
We whose hearts on God are set;
Babelike souls of Jesus learning,
While our cheeks with tears are wet;
For the manger and the stable
Are not pleasant to our eyes,
But our feet must follow Jesus,
If our hands would grasp the prize.
2
Via Nazareth! the pathway
Narrows still as on we go,
Years of toil none understanding,
Yet God teaches us to know
That the servant is not greater
Than the Lord, who through long years
Hid Himself from this world’s glory,
Follow Him! Count not the tears.
3
Via Galilee, we see Him!
Stones are hurled, and curses hissed
By the men who gather round Him,
Has He not the pathway missed?
No! unharmed the Savior passes,
And this rough bit of the way
We must travel, since like Jesus,
Nothing can our purpose stay.
4
Via too, the awful anguish
Of the hours beneath the trees,
Where the hosts of Satan linger,
Awful hours of anguish these!
Yet we fail not, for God’s angels
Minister to us, and say,
“Look, beloved, at the glory,
Conflict is but for a day!”
5
Then the Cross! for via Calvary
Every royal soul must go;
Here we draw the veil, for Jesus
Only can the pathway show;
“If we suffer with Him,” listen,
Just a little, little while,
And the memory will have faded
In the glory of His smile!
6
Then the grave, with dear ones weeping,
Knowing that all life has fled;
(Fellow-pilgrims, art thou numbered
With the men the world calls dead?)
Thence we rise, and live with Jesus,
Throned above the world’s mad strife,
Gladly forfeiting forever,
All that worldlings count as life.
7
On we press! and yonder gleaming,
Nearing every day, we see
The great walls of that fair city,
God has built for such as we;
And we catch the tender music
Of the choirs that sing of One
Who once died to have us with Him
In His kingdom, on the throne.
8
Just a few more miles, beloved!
And our feet shall ache no more;
No more sin, and no more sorrow,
Hush thee, Jesus went before;
And I hear Him sweetly whispering,
“Faint not, fear not, still press on,
For it may be ere tomorrow,
The long journey will be done.”
1
Grace

East

O how long our Beloved Master... Your church, we, thirst for righteousness on earth 2017.

Once we believe in the Lord, we should realize that we are no longer a part of the world. Our baptism is a sign that we are freed from the world. Through baptism we assume a different role. Henceforth, we abide in the ark and are persons on the other side. We can tell others that we do not do certain things because we have believed in Jesus. But, even more, we can tell others that we do not do them because we are baptized. We have crossed the bridge; we are on the other side.

Today we must recover the place of baptism before God. What is the meaning of baptism? Baptism means to come out of the world. It is a step which we take to free ourselves from the world. Our baptism is a declaration to others that we are out. This is like the words of a hymn which say, "Then the grave, with dear ones weeping,/Knowing that all life has fled" (Hymns, #628). Our dear ones know that we are finished and that we have come to the end of our road. We are through. Only this kind of baptism is effective. If this is not our realization, our baptism is too light and insubstantial. We must realize that we have been freed from the old circle and have come out of it. Eternal life is something that our spirit gains before God, but salvation is an act of our separation from the world.