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!”