Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bring All Your Fear

Written in 1994 and set to the tune EARTH AND ALL STARS.

1.  Bring all your fear,
     Bring all your sadness,
     Bring all your doubt and despair to the tomb.
     See the great stone
     Rolled from the entrance,
     Points to the end of our dark night of gloom!
Refrain:  Alleluia!  Alleluia!
             Christ has arisen!  Alleluia!

2.  Hear the good news--
     Jesus is living!
     Do you remember the words He once said:
     "Be crucified,
     Rise on the third day."
     He is not here in the graves of the dead!  Refrain

3.  God's rising Son
     Mourning eclipses,
     Shining on all those who sorrow and grieve;
     Calling by name
     All who are weeping,
     So they the light of His love might receive.  Refrain

4.  Where doors are locked
     And hearts are broken,
     Bruised and in need of the One crucified,
     Jesus appears;
     "Peace!" He says gently,
     Showing the marks in His hands and His side!  Refrain

5.  Sing to the Lord,
     Sing of His triumph:
     "Worthy is Jesus, the Lamb that was slain!"
     Jesus--our song,
     Jesus--our gladness,
     Jesus--our joyful and endless refrain!  Refrain

Rest, O Christ, from All Your Labor

By the late Herman G. Stuempfle.

1.  Rest, O Christ, from all Your labor;
     Sleep within Your borrowed tomb.
     Foes have crucified and bound You
     Fast within death's narrow room.
     Pilate's guards stand watching, waiting
     Where they rolled the sealing stone.
     All unseen another watches:
     God will not forsake His own.

2.  Peace at last from all Your anguish,
     Wounds in hands and feet and side.
     Enemies no longer mock You,
     Scourged, abandoned, crucified.
     Faithful women gather spices,
     Weep for You whom sin has slain.
     Though they mourn, the God who guards You
     Will not let Your death be vain.

3.  Help us keep this solemn sabbath
     As we wait for Easter dawn.
     Earth's dark night of sin is passing;
     Death's long reign will soon be gone.
     Christ, in whom the new creation
     Rises brighter than the sun:
     May we, as we watch for morning,
     Trust the vict'ry You have won.

4.  As, through parting Red Sea waters,
     Israel marched to liberty,
     So we pass through baptism's water,
     Washed by grace, from sin set free.
     Jesus, risen, living, reigning
     Now and through eternity:
     Grant that, through Your life undying,
     We may live victoriously.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Word of God Is Spoken

Hymn writer Mark Preus recently penned this fine Holy Communion text and composer Stephen Johnson recently composed a wonderful, and as yet unnamed, tune for it.  Our Lord be praised for His ongoing gifts to His Church!  "For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, 'This is my body which is for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.'  In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood.  Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.'  For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."  (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

1.  The Word of God is spoken,
     And angels bend to see
     How hearts, once bound and broken,
     Are set a liberty.
     For Christ, the Lord of Glory,
     Proclaims His death again;
     No doubt can dim the story
     That pardons all our sin.

2.  With bread and wine are given
     Christ's body and His blood;
     The earthly hides the heaven
     As flesh encloses God;
     The right hand of the Father
     Is now the Holy Place
     Where Christ, our God and Brother,
     Bestows on sinners grace.

3.  Depart each unbeliever
     And those who live to sin!
     Nor let a false deceiver
     Dare here to enter in.
     Discern this gift of Jesus,
     His body and His blood,
     Lest righteous judgement seize us
     For not believing God.

4.  Blest is the hungry spirit,
     Who has no good to give,
     But clings to Jesus' merit--
     By faith this soul shall live;
     The Lord will not deceive him,
     As sin and Satan do,
     Nor will his Savior leave him,
     Whose Word cries out, "for you!"

5.  And kneeling at the altar
     United we shall be,
     Though we are weak, and falter,
     Strong is our unity.
     For Jesus' precious preaching
     Dispels the devil's pow'r,
     Nor will He let false teaching
     To ever win the hour.

6.  So we with gladness enter,
     And we with gladness leave;
     Christ's cross is at the center
     Of all that we believe.
     This sacrament will give us
     Abundant joy and peace
     Till angels will receive us
     In heaven's Holy Place.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Exalt 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.  A blessed Holy Week to you!

1.  Exalt 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!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

No Tramp of Soldiers' Marching Feet

Timothy Dudley-Smith's masterful Palm Sunday text set to the tune KINGSFOLD.  A blessed Palm Sunday to you!

1.  No tramp of soldiers' marching feet
     With banners and with drums,
     No sound of music's martial beat:
     "The King of glory comes!"
     To greet what pomp of kingly pride
     No bells in triumph ring,
     No city gates swing open wide:
     "Behold, behold your King!"

2.  And yet He comes. The children cheer;
     With palms His path is strown.
     With ev'ry step the cross draws near:
     The King of glory's throne.
     Astride a colt He passes by
     As loud hosannas ring,
     Or else the very stones would cry
     "Behold, behold your King!"

3.  What fading flow'rs His road adorn;
     The palms, how soon laid down!
     No bloom or leaf but only thorn
     The King of glory's crown.
     The soldiers mock, the rabble cries,
     The streets with tumult ring,
     As Pilate to the mob replies,
     "Behold, behold your King!"

4.  Now He who bore for mortals' sake
     The cross and all its pains
     And chose a servant's form to take,
     The King of glory reigns.
     Hosannas to the Savior's name
     Till heaven's rafters ring,
     And all the ransomed host proclaim
     "Behold, behold your King!" 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cling Tightly to the Word of God

Written in 2005 for my niece Alicia's confirmation. To the tender tune O COME by Amanda Husberg.

Cling tightly to the Word of God
And Christ's disciple be;
For then, beloved, you will know
The truth that sets you free,
The truth that sets you free.

Recall in faith the precious gift
Of your baptismal day,
When you were joined to Jesus' death
That washed your sins away,
That washed your sins away.

For just as God raised up His Son
From death by His great might,
So too, in Christ, we now may live
As children of the light,
As children of the light.

Be strong! Stand firm! Come, walk the path
That saints before You trod,
With ready feet to bring good news
Of Christ--the Peace of God,
Of Christ--the Peace of God.

Know that His body and His blood
Will feed your hungry soul
Like manna in life's wilderness,
Until you reach your goal,
Until you reach your goal.

Now fix your eyes on Jesus Christ;
"Come, follow Me," says He;
"Deny yourself, take up your cross--
Come, lose your life for Me,
Come, lose your life for Me."