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O, Master, Let Me Walk with You

Leo Tolstoy was a Russian novelist, essayist, dramatist and philosopher who had a profound influence on people throughout the Western world. He was known as a pacifist, an educational reformer and a Christian anarchist. He is also known as the author of one of the world’s greatest novels, “War and Peace.”

Tolstoy was a master novelist.

In Scripture and hymns, we read about masters:

  • “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

— Matthew 6:24

  • And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

— Ephesians 6:9

  • [ The Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant ] “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?

— Matthew 24:45

One of the famous stories that Tolstoy wrote is about a master and landowner, Vasili Andreevich Brekhunov and his servant, Nikita, who went for a short journey to the house of the owner of a forest. The master is in a hurry and becomes lost in the middle of a blizzard, but the master in his greed wishes to press on. They lost their direction and were unable to reach the city before nightfall. The peasant servant is dying from exposure to the cold.

The next morning, concerned friends went searching for the two men. They finally found the master, frozen to death, face down in the snow. When they lifted him they found the servant — cold but alive. He survived and told how the master had voluntarily placed himself on top of the servant so the servant could live.

During this Lenten season, we are preparing our hearts to once again celebrate the teaching, the leading, the sacrifice and ultimate gift of Jesus . . . the Master who died for, not just one but ALL of His servants.

There is a chorus to a beautiful old hymn, “Living for Jesus,” that explains how I feel:

O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee,
For Thou, in thy atonement, didst give Thyself for me.
I own no other master, my heart shall be thy throne.
My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.

May it be so, O God.

In God’s Love,

Pastor Judy

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