Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Chosen, Precious Cornerstone

Written to the glory of God for the 50th anniversary of Chapel of the Cross Lutheran Church in St. Louis, Missouri. The tune CORNERSTONE was composed by Carl Schalk for this anniversary hymn.

1.  A chosen, precious cornerstone
     In Zion laid, as flesh and bone,
     Incarnate God Most High;
     This stone the builders would reject,
     God’s will obeyed as God’s Elect—
     For us ordained to die!

2.  This stone was set for all to see,
     As jewel of that sacred tree,
     A gem of priceless worth;
     So faith and hope could rest secure
     Upon such love, so rare and pure,
     Love bridging heav’n and earth!

3.  For Jesus is that saving Name
     The One of worth to rightly claim
     Redemption gained for all:
     Fulfilling God the Father’s plan,  
     Christ came to earth as God and man,
     Undoing Adam’s Fall.

4.  All those once lost, condemned, alone,
     God’s grace would claim and make His own:
     Washed clean, renewed, restored;
     As living stones, born from above,
     Built on that Name whose name is Love,
     On Jesus Christ our Lord.

5.  Now none who trust Christ’s holy Name
     Shall stumble or be put to shame—
     They walk in wondrous light!
     Made royal priests, a chosen race,  
     A people for the praise of grace
     That called them out of night.

6.  To God the Father, who is known
     Through God the Son, true Cornerstone,
     All laud and praise afford,
     With God the Spirit honor be,
     The Three in One, the One in Three—
     Thrice-holy, gracious LORD!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Grace is God's Love Undeserved, Yet Abounding

Written to the glory of God for the 60th anniversary of Grace Lutheran Church in Columbus, Indiana, October 4, 2015, to the tune JESUS IST KOMMEN, GRUND EWIGER FREUDE.

1.  Grace is God's love undeserved, yet abounding,
     Wealth of love lavished upon our poor race,
     Mercy toward sinners, all reason confounding,
     God deemed us worthy to save by His grace!
     Deep this rich kindness the earth still is sounding--
     God's love is grace not deserved, but abounding!

2.  Grace is God's love we are shown in Christ Jesus:
     God in the flesh took our sin and our shame.
     Death-conqu'ring life of our Lord truly frees us,
     Faced our foes for us, His triumph we claim!
     Good news now soars on God's Spirit-wrought breezes--
     God's love is grace all are shown through Christ Jesus! 

3.  Grace is God's love bringing peace beyond measure,
     Peace none can find in the Law's harsh demand,
     Guarding our hearts in Christ Jesus, our Treasure,
     Peace far surpassing what we understand;
     Peace, a sweet foretaste of heaven's pure pleasure--
     God's love is grace that brings peace none can measure!

4.  Grace is God's love here in time and forever.
     God's work begun in us He will complete!
     Nothing in life from this grace can us sever;
     Nothing in death brings God's children defeat.
     Grace, timely love for God's timeless endeavor--
     God's love is grace for all time, yes, forever!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

When Time Was Full, God Sent His Son

Written in 1999 and set to the tune VALIANT ONE by Walter Pelz. "For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here." (Matthew 12:40-41)

When time was full, God sent His Son
To save those under Law;
His destined path Christ did not shun,
But faced death’s hungry maw.
As Life was swallowed up and died,
Creation shook and groaned:
Its Lord and Maker crucified,
Deposed, entombed, disowned.

This holy Jonah undecayed
Lay still within the whale;
This Lord of Life on death then preyed,
Hell’s titan to impale:
From gaping jaws came forth this King,
With death the casualty!
Colossal foe, where now your sting?
Where, grave, your victory?

God’s valiant One, once sacrificed,
Is high-exalted now,
That at the name of Jesus Christ
Each knee should surely bow;
Each tongue confess and praise the Lamb,
Our resurrected Lord,
The First and Last, the great I AM—
Acclaimed, enthroned, adored!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Darkness Shrouds the Awful Mountain

Written in 1988 for Good Friday, set to the tune FREUEN WIR UNS ALL IN EIN.

Darkness shrouds the awful mountain;
Christ our Lord yields up His final breath:
“Father, now receive my spirit,”
As He bows His head in death.

Silent is the deposition
Of His sacred body from the cross;
Quickly to the tomb they bear Him
Hushed by grief at their great loss.

Be fulfilled, O sign of Jonah—
Bringing life from death on the third day.
God has not His Son abandoned
Nor will Jesus see decay!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Exult Today, Jerusalem!

This text was written in 2010 for the 25th anniversary of Glory of Christ Lutheran Church in Plymouth, MN to the vibrant tune, ZEHNDER, by Scott Hyslop of St. Lorenz in Frankenmuth, MI.  We are singing this tomorrow at St. John Amelith as the Sermon Hymn.  A blessed Holy Week to you and yours!

1.  Exult today, Jerusalem!
     God comes to set you free!
     This royal son of Bethlehem
     Fulfills all prophecy.
     This greater Jonah of renown
     God's love and pow'r displays;
     He comes to tear God's temple down
     And raise it in three days!

2.  With joy, the city resonates!
     O Zion's daughter, sing!
     Lift up your heads, you mighty gates,
     And greet your coming King!
     He rides no horse with prancing strides,
     As kings before Him came,
     But on a donkey humbly rides,
     His office to proclaim:

3.  The Christ! A Prophet greater than
     That giver of the Law;
     A Priest, not born from Levi's clan,
     But born without sin's flaw;
     A King, one like that priestly king, 
     Melchizedek of old,
     For Christ, as thorn-crowned King will bring
     God's righteousness foretold.

4.  Christ's glory is not seen by those
     Offended by the cross,
     For worldly wisdom never knows
     How gain could come from loss;
     Yet, this the glory of the Christ:
     To claim our cross as throne--
     His perfect life He sacrificed
     That we might be His own!

5.  So wave your palms and fill the air
     With shouts of joy this day,
     The King of glory comes to bear
     Your sin and death away!
     Hosanna, Lord!  Your people save!
     O come, Emmanuel,
     And by Your cross and shattered grave,
     Tear down the gates of hell!