Sunday, September 25, 2011

Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I Go

Our closing hymn today at St. John, Charles Wesley's "Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I Go," was a great hymn of sending in response to the Matt. 21 vineyard parable of the two sons in the Gospel lesson.  The hymn first appeared in 1749 in Charles Wesley's "Hymns and Sacred Poems."   The wonderful tune LAKEWOOD by Barry Bobb was composed for this text at the ordination of Ronald Roma in 1980.  Wesley's original hymn had six stanzas, however his third stanza was omitted by brother John Wesley in 1780 when John published his "A Collection of Hymns for the use of the People called Methodists."  The omitted stanza reads:  Preserve me from my calling's snare, And hide my simple heart above, Above the thorns of choking care, The gilded baits of worldly love.

1.  Forth in Thy name, O Lord, I go,
     My daily labor to pursue,
     Thee, only Thee, resolved to know
     In all I think or speak or do.

2.  The task Thy wisdom has assigned,
     O let me cheerfully fulfill;
     In all my works Thy presence find,
     And prove Thy good and perfect will.

3.  Thee may I set at my right hand,
     Whose eyes my inmost substance see,
     And labor on at Thy command,
     And offer all my works to Thee.

4.  Give me to bear Thy easy yoke,
     And ev'ry moment watch and pray,
     And still to things eternal look,
     And hasten to Thy glorious day.

5.  For Thee delightfully employ
     Whate'er Thy bounteous grace has giv'n,
     And run my course with even joy,
     And closely walk with Thee to heav'n.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Oh, How Good and Truly Pleasant

Set to the tune BEACH SPRING, the text was written in 2007 for Our Savior Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  God bring His healing to the MNS Distict.

1. Oh, how good and truly pleasant 
    When we dwell in unity:
    Gentle sisters, caring brothers
    Loving others selflessly!
    This the oneness God desires
    For the people called His own,
    So that we, by our affection,
    Might His love to all make known.

2. Like the oil of consecration
    Running down from Aaron’s brow,
    On his beard and sacred collar,
    To his priestly role endow,
    So our love, to God devoted,
    Spreads His fragrance everywhere;
    Royal priests by God anointed,
    One in service, faith, and prayer.

3. Were the heavy dew of Hermon
    On Mount Zion to descend,
    There the Lord commands His blessing:
    Life eternal without end;
    So would God, from Calv’ry’s mountain,
    Rain down love on desert lives,
    Causing them to bud and flower
    Till His grace our world revives.

4. Come, O precious Oil of Gladness,
    Help us love and live as one,
    As the Son is in the Father
    And the Father in the Son,
    You, as love from both proceeding,
    Three in One and One in Three—
    One in love at the beginning,
    One in love eternally!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Call Of God Ordained You

This text was written for the 25th ordination anniversary and retirement of Pastor Richard A. Bolland.  It is set to the tune VON GOTT WILL ICH NICHT LASSEN  (LSB 713)

1.   The call of God ordained you
     A watchman for the Lord!
     Each day God has sustained you,
     To be His people’s ward,
     His counsel to proclaim:
     The Law—its condemnation;
     The Gospel—its salvation
     For all in Jesus’ name.
2.  The Lord does not desire
     That any die in sin;
     Instead He would inspire
     True change of heart within,
     And so He sends His Word—
     That all might be repenting,
     Their judgment thus preventing
     For wickedness incurred.

3.  How unforeseen that power
     Christ resurrected showed,
     When in that evening hour
     His Spirit He bestowed:
    “The sins that you forgive,
     They truly are forgiven,
     On earth and high in heaven.”
     Each penitent shall live!

4. “The sins you are retaining
     Before the Father’s face,
     Are debts by those disdaining
     My Father’s heart of grace.”
     Yet these Christ would receive:
    “How often, yes, how often,
     I prayed your heart would soften
     And you your sin would leave.”

5.  The watchman’s voice is crying,
    “Turn from your evil way!”
     Still some, his call defying,
     Resist and disobey.
     You died for these, Lord, too!
     Your mercy is most shocking;
      It seeks to save the mocking
     Who know not what they do.

6.  The watchman’s sacred duty
     Proclaims good news from God;
     His feet are rare with beauty
     And with the Gospel shod.
     God’s spokesman lifts his voice:
    “Those marred by sin’s defiling,
     God’s grace is reconciling.
     Return! Believe! Rejoice!”

7.  You, son of man, unswerving,
     Have spoken for the Lord.
     We, whom you have been serving,
     Thank God with one accord!
     We say so gratefully:
    “Dear watchman, you have led us;
     Dear pastor, you have fed us—
     To God all glory be!”