Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Soul, Now Praise Your Maker

Fred Precht writes in Lutheran Worship Hymnal Companion about this marvelous hymn text: "This hymn by Johann Gramann was written, according to the great Lutheran theologian Martin Chemnitz, one of the authors of the Formula of Concord, at the request of Albrecht the Elder, Duke of Prussia, a follower of Luther's and staunch supporter of the Reformation.  Albrecht asked for a hymn based on his favorite psalm, Psalm 103, a beautiful psalm in praise of the God of all grace."

Psalm 103 is one of my favorite psalms too.  We sang this hymn today in our Matins worship services here at St. John-Amelith.  What a gloriously strong text!  As the summer flowers fade and fall approaches, one is given an object lesson in the brevity of life contrasted to the steadfast, everlasting love of God.

1.  My soul, now praise your Maker!
         Let all within me bless His name
     Who makes you full partaker
         Of mercies more than you dare claim.
             Forget Him not whose meekness
                  Still bears with all your sin,
              Who heals your ev'ry weakness,
                  Renews your life within;
                       Whose grace and care are endless
                           And saved you through the past;
                       Who leaves no suff'rer friendless
                           But rights the wronged at last.

2.  He offers all His treasure
         Of justice, truth, and righteousness,
     His love beyond all measure,
         His yearning pity o'er distress;
              Nor treats us as we merit
                  But sets His anger by.
              The poor and contrite spirit
                  Finds His compassion nigh;
                       As high as heav'n above us,
                           As dawn from close of day,
                       So far, since He has loved us,
                           He puts our sins away.

3.  For as a tender father
         Has pity on His children here,
      God in His arms will gather
         All who are His in childlike fear.
              He knows how frail our powers,
                  Who but from dust are made.
              We flourish like the flowers,
                  And even so we fade;
                       The wind but through them passes,
                           And all their bloom is o'er
                       We wither like the grasses;
                           Our place knows us no more.

4.  His grace remains forever,
         And children's children yet shall prove
     That God forsakes them never
         Who in true fear shall seek His love.
              In heav'n is fixed His dwelling,
                  His rule is over all;
              O hosts with might excelling,
                  With praise before Him fall,
                       Praise Him forever reigning,
                           All you who hear His Word--
                       Our life and all sustaining.
                           My soul, O praise the Lord!


Josh Osbun said...

Will you be coming to the Michigan District All Pastor Conference in October?

amelithpastor said...

Yes, I am registered to attend the All Pastor Conference. Looking forward to seeing you there!