Monday, January 10, 2011

God Chose the Foolishness of Christ

Written to the glory of God for the 50th anniversary of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  It was sung there for the first time this past Sunday and I had the joy of being present as guest preacher for the occasion.  The text is set to the tune IN ARMOUR BRIGHT by Edward Norman Hay (1889-1943).  The text is based on 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, which is the appointed epistle lesson for The Baptism of our Lord in the one-year lectionary.

1.  God chose the foolishness of Christ,
     To shame the worldly wise;
     To shame the strong, God chose the weak,
     The lowly and despised.

2.  God chose the folly of the cross,
     That Christ be crucified:
     To bear sin's curse, to die man's death,
     That all be justified.

3.  God chose each one of us in Christ
     Before the world began,
     Adopting us by lavish grace
     According to His plan!

4.  God chose that water with the Word
     Should cleanse us from our sin:
     Baptized into Christ's death and life,
     His Spirit lives within.

5.  God chose that preaching of the cross--
     His wisdom from on high--
     Should be the Church's mighty pow'r
     To grow and multiply.

6.  God chose that simple bread and wine
     Christ's Word should thus decree:
     "This is My body and My blood,
     From sin to set you free."

7.  God chose for us in Christ the best
     Our world has even known;
     For all His good and perfect gifts,
     We boast in God alone!


tim loewe said...

Steve, what is the metrical setting of In Armor Bright? & is this tune in our hymnbook? BTW: Great Work Steve! SDG

Anonymous said...

It seems an odd title for a hymn. Foolishness of Christ? I don't understand.

amelithpastor said...

I'll grant you that it is somewhat of an odd title! The text seeks to underscore the fact that the message of the cross and a crucified Savior is folly to an unbelieving world. Take a moment to look up 1 Cor. 1:26-31. Christ crucified is a stumbling block and rock of offense for many. (1 Peter 2:7,8) A theology of the cross states the unlikely truth that God accomplishes His great acts in seeming weakness, the greatest act of all in the shameful cross of His Son, by which the world has been redeemed.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your explanation. I'm going to get out my Bible and read now. :)

hymnplayer95 said...

What an excellent hymn! We are going to use it this Sunday at Cross of Christ in Liverpool, NY. To God be the glory!
Btw, where was the picture taken? How old is that Luftmalerei?

amelithpastor said...

Thanks, hymmplayer95. The photo was taken in Oberammergau in November of 2006. I don't know how old the Luftmalerei is, but it really caught my eye. If you would like the text to the tune IN ARMOUR BRIGHT, email me at and I will send you the pdf files.