Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Advent 1 Hymn: In Memory of John Gerhard

1.What King now comes to save you,
O Zion, Church of God?
He is the Lord who gave you
And wears your flesh and blood.
No power and no glory
Comes Jesus to display,
But Zechariah’s story
Is seen fulfilled today:

Rejoice, O Zion’s daughter,
Behold, your King has come:
The Lamb ordained for slaughter,
The humble, righteous One;
And having free salvation,
He speaks eternal peace,
And ruling every nation,
His reign will never cease.

His crown and strength are hidden
In sorrows that he feels;
The throne to which he’s bidden
A cross of pain reveals.
All innocent and holy,
He bears our guilt within
And thus he calls the lowly
To find release from sin.

Has darkness come upon you?
Are you in sin’s control?
This Light from Light has won you
Forgiveness for your soul;
Nor find Him in your effort,
Nor seek Him in your will,
His Gospel is your comfort
That bids your sins be still.

He wields His Spirit’s scepter
With grace and mercy pure,
His Word dispels the Tempter,
And by it we endure,
And wait in expectation
For Christ to come again
And bring us full salvation
From sin and death and pain. 

Let Zion sing Hosanna
And lift her heart to Him,
Whose body is her Manna,
Whose blood absolves her sin;
On earth she here rejoices
To find her Lord and King,
To whom, with heavn’ly voices,
Her praises ever ring.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Creation's Hope

On this creation of futility
Shines down the Light of Light – to us is born
A Child who shares our full humanity,
God’s Son for those who in the darkness mourn. 

The yoke of death, the Law’s accusing rod,
That burdened life to nothing more than dust,
That kept us guilty in the sight of God,
Is broken by this Savior born for us;

For angels sing what men could not conceive,
And glory shines into unknowing night,
The angels shout the Gospel, we believe,
And Midian and Satan take to flight,

As flesh and blood no more in darkness grope,
For in our flesh now shines creation’s Hope. 

New Song

There is no song my heart could ever raise,
Which, if it didn't point to Christ in praise,
Would not be worthless, like a covered flame,
Which sinners hide to revel in their shame.

Not so be what we sing, dear Christian friends;
Upon the psalm the Church's life depends,
And with the glorious newer Testament,
We sing of Christ, His word and sacrament.

Don't let this world with soft and naked tune,
Bring what God gave His holy Church to ruin.
Sing out with all your heart mild Mary's song,
And cling to Hannah's words your whole life long.

What David sang is water to the soul,
It kills the flesh and makes the spirit whole,
And Miriam taught us well when to exult:
When Satan threatens, God will drive him out.

And I have hope that when this English dies,
Another tongue will read these words then dead,
And as my heart with Kingo's spirit cries,
So may his spirit Heavenward be led,

To laud and magnify the glorious name,
Of Him who gave us music to declare
That He who bore our sin and death and shame,
Is the new song, both here and everywhere.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Bittersweet Root

Compassion is a root that's hard to taste,
   So bitter is it to Dame Reason's tongue,
   If once it calls her perfect prudence wrong,
   She spits it out in self-defensive haste.

   The Suffer-With-Another Root is sweet -
   If you have too long tasted Reason's fare,
   That leaves her neighbor wounded, dying there,
   Compassion is a rare and wholesome treat.

   Some try to call this root emotive food,
   Pathetic, bound to Pathos' mobs and charm;
   But it defies Dame Logos' false alarm,
   And with its nutrients it feeds the good,
    But savors still as bitterness to those
    Who cannot take their keisters off their nose.

Psalm 134: Hymn for ULC

You servants of the Lord,
Bless him whose gracious Word
Preserves you from disaster,
For Christ, your Lord and Master,
Delivers you from evil,
And saves you from the devil.

You stand both day and night
In God the Father’s sight,
Enthroned in holy places,
Where angels hide their faces,
Where Christ lifts up the lowly,
And makes them pure and holy.

Lift up your hands and hearts
To Him whose grace imparts
Forgiveness for transgression,
And covers with compassion
The sins that still infect us,
But soon He will perfect us.

Bless Him whose flesh and blood
Are given you for food,
Where you may always gather
And cling to Christ, your Brother,
And put on Him your burden,
And take from him His pardon.

For He who made the earth,
And gave you second birth,
Will all his children cherish;
Though brick and mortar perish, 
The word still sounds from Zion,
The truth the poor rely on.

Will he not judge for us,
Who gives us righteousness?
Who made the ear will hear us,
Who gave us life is near us,
And he will soon translate us
To joys that now await us.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

On Matthew Six: For Stuart Floyd

Come, sing the praise of God the Father,
Who made us and sustains His own,
Let all God’s children sing together,
Lift up your voice to Him alone,
Who keeps us throughout all our days,
And only He deserves our praise.

Why give your heart to love an idol,
Who cannot give a single thing?
To leave your God is suicidal -
What good can Mammon-worship bring?
What wound can money ever heal?
What truth can food or clothes reveal?

Consider once the birds of heaven,
They don’t plant grain to store away;
Yet God to them their food has given,
Are we not worth much more than they?
Our worry cannot make us grow,
Or any other good bestow.

Consider flowers of the meadow,
That neither toil nor sell their wares,
Yet Solomon is but a shadow
Compared to glory that is theirs;
If God clothes grass that fades away,
Will he not give you clothes today?

How blindly does the world go straying!
She clings to what her hands have made;
Her confidence in money laying,
Her glory short and soon to fade;
Dear God, save us from trusting in
What only leads our hearts to sin!

Our need is known to God our Father;
He sent His Son from realms above,
To take our flesh, become our Brother,
And show the Kingdom of His love,
Where sinners find a gracious God,
And help upon the narrow road.

Was Jesus fed upon the mountain,
When He was starved of Heav’nly love?
And yet his body is a fountain,
That pours down pardon from above;
Unclothed and shamed he met the cross
With innocence to cover us. 

So seek first what our Father gives us,
The righteousness of Christ, His Son,
That calls us righteous and revives us
To trust in what our Lord has done,
Which saves us from idolatry,
As from our sins it sets us free.

Psalm 137: For Hans

Sing, dear Christians, songs of Zion,
Don't forget the poor and weak.
Sing the doctrine of the Spirit,
Sing the truth that sinners seek;
While you wander by the river
Of a Babylonian land,
Sing of Him sent to deliver
Captives from the devil's hand.

True, the world still serves the devil,
Yes, she flaunts her wealth and pride,
True, our flesh still longs for evil,
Still it casts the truth aside;
Stronger is the truth of Jesus,
And His wounds this truth maintain:
By His death he will release us
From the shackles of our sin.

Far more beauteous than the heaven,
That declares God's glory here,
Are the souls by God forgiven
When before Him they appear;
For the Christ, their God and Brother
Purifies them with his Word,
He alone, and there's none other,
Is the Man whom they call Lord.

Vengeance soon will come, my brothers,
When our enemies and foes
See their daughters and their mothers
See the evil they impose;
What was once a sweet seduction,
What they sang to mock our grief,
Now becomes their souls' destruction,
Judgment on their unbelief.

5. Don't forget, my soul, the mercy
That was shed by Christ my God!
Jesus, make my spirit thirsty
For Your rich, forgiving blood.
You have faced the condemnation
That all unbelievers see;
Sing to me Your free salvation
In the death you died for me.

O Jerusalem, my mother,
If for Christ no song I bring,
If my tongue should praise another,
Let my mouth then cease to sing;
What but Jesus' precious merit

Keeps us trusting Him through death?
He will also give His Spirit,
Teaching us to sing the faith.