And here is the hymn: Up that weary hill they stumbled
Words: John Owain Jones, 2014 Tune: Austrian Hymn
Up that weary hill they stumbled Stunned by words that made no sense, With their easy dreams had crumbled Galilean innocence “You’re the Christ!” glib Peter’d trumpeted! “Yes – but listen!” Jesus said “Christ’s road leads down to Jerusalem, And this Christ will soon be dead.”
Up that hill just eight days later, Followed Peter, James and John Stumbling through their new reality Dreams destroyed, faith clinging on. With them, Jesus; through this strangeness He was still what he had been; Who that was, since Caesarea, They must start afresh to glean.
Up the hill, and then, exhausted, Down to rest: and there they wait; Jesus moves away a distance, Prays; they nod – it’s getting late. Now from sleep they’re fully wakened Now they see! Unearthly, bright – Hope, anticipating Easter: Life destroys death’s fearful night!
Down the same strange hill they stumble, All is different, all the same Still before them lies Jerusalem, Their denial, flight and shame. Their new grasp of him will loosen, His of them they will not shake; They have glimpsed the truth that’s in him, Know his way is theirs to take.
Up our own steep hill to worship, Wearying gradient of the mind, Lord, we come, from life’s reality; If escape we seek to find, That is not what Jesus offers: Truth, not wish-dreams; self denied; Cross borne daily; his, our journey; Life transfigured, death destroyed.