Saturday, October 19, 2013

Give Ear, O Zion, To God's Call

Written to the glory of God for the 150th anniversary of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Bonduel, WI under the anniversary theme: "To God Be the Glory--Yesterday, Today, and Forever."  Anniversary theme verse:  Isaiah 51:6-8.   Written to the tune NUN FREUT EUCH.

1.  Give ear, O Zion, to God's call,
     And hearken, chosen nation:
     God comes with righteousness for all,
     With mercy and salvation;
     God comes with comfort for your gloom,
     Until your desert places bloom
     With thankful songs of gladness.

2.  Behold, God bares His holy arm,
     His Servant to us sending;
     God clothed in flesh need not alarm,
     He comes our race befriending:
     A Lamb in whom no sin is found,
     Yet bearing ours, He makes no sound
     As He is led to slaughter.

3.  Our death upon the cross He died,
     Yet see--this Lamb is living!
     In Christ, we now stand justified,
     His guiltlessness us giving!
     Out of the anguish of His soul,
     We have been cleansed, restored, made whole;
     Baptized in Christ, made righteous!

4.  Each one of us is robed in white,
     Christ's holiness now wearing;
     Called out of darkness into light,
     God's love in Christ declaring;
     We live and die in Jesus' name;
     His grace from yesterday the same,
     Today, tomorrow--ever!

5.  Look to the heav'ns, lift up your eyes
     And understand this clearly:
     That this fair earth beneath those skies
     And all we love so dearly,
     Will one day face its fiery fate;
     Like smoke the heav'ns will dissipate
     At Jesus' reappaering!

6.  What kind of people ought you be
     As this Last Day approaches?
     In love, rebuke all blasphemy;
     Fear not the world's reproaches;
     Live godly lives of faithfulness;
     Christ's saving work to all confess;
     Thus hasten His returning.

7.  Sing God the Father's majesty:
     Of naught He made creation!
     To God the Son all glory be:
     His blood wrought our salvation!
     The Holy Spirit magnify:
     He dwells within to sanctify--
     One God Most High forever!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Seed That the Sower Sows

Written to the glory of God at the 150th anniversary of St. John Lutheran Church, Fraser, Michigan, under the anniversary theme:  "Rooted and Growing in Christ."  The text is set to the wonderful tune named 14 MILE, composed by Matthew Machemer.

1.  Seed that the sower sows,
     Tossed not in careful rows
     But broadly cast across the fertile acre;
     Seed scattered far and wide,
     Seed with its life inside--
     A miracle created by our Maker!

2.  God's Word has here been cast,
     Sown now as in the past,
     Sown into lives by parents, pastors, teachers;
     God's living seed imparts
     Faith, hope, and love in hearts:
     God's grace and mercy for His blood-bought creatures.

3.  Bought at a precious price,
     Christ Jesus' sacrifice;
     For us He faced our death and condemnation.
     Christ has the world redeemed,
     Our world God so esteemed
     That He would give His Son for its salvation!

4.  For in Christ bodily
     Dwells the full deity;
     From Him we now derive all we are needing.
     He is the Church's head,
     Our true and living Bread--
     His very flesh and blood His Body feeding!

5.  Therefore, dear holy ones,
     Beloved daughters, sons,
     Baptized, made new, God's triune Name receiving:
     Walk in the Lord each day;
     Rooted in Christ, the Way,
     So nothing harms the faith you are believing.

6.  Seed that the Sower sows,
     Seed to its harvest grows--  
     Full thirty, sixty, hundredfold maturing!
     God's work in us begun
     Will work till all is done,
     God's fruitful grace His promises assuring.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Come, Marvel at the Mercy of Our Maker

Written to the glory of God at the 175th anniversary of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis to the tune RED HILL ROAD (ELW 760) by Carl Schalk.

1.  Come, marvel at the mercy of our Maker,
     Who from the woman's seed has sent His Son,
     Born under law that each might be partaker
     Of full redemption treasures He has won!
     Proclaim the cross raised on that skull-like mountain
     Where justice falls, yet intersects with grace,
     For from that junction flows a living fountain,
     A crystal stream to green our desert race.

2.  Souls parched for grace where grit of sin is soiling,
     Hearts burdened by its foul and crushing weight,
     That heavy load of guilt and futile toiling
     Beneath the sun of vanity and hate:
     Come, bathe; be cleansed in pure baptismal waters!
     A false mirage?  No, true reality--
     A Word-drenched flood begetting sons and daughters,
     Heirs of God's love for all eternity!

3.  We, like Elijah, pass through barren places;
     With him confess, "My God is God the LORD."
     Yet as we journey God gives us oasis:
     His holy Supper and His holy Word.
     Come, feast; for Christ as manna truly feeds us,
     The Bread of Life, our reason to rejoice,
     While on the Way of Holiness God leads us:
     "Be strong; fear not!" He says with still, small voice.

4.  Though snares of sin the evil foe is laying,
     Though culture's sirens beckon us toward night,
     "Stand by the roads, and look," the LORD is saying;
     "Ask for the ancient pathways, good and right."
     Come, walk the Way that saints before have taken;
     The crown of life is theirs, the heaven-blest.
     Our God is faithful, we are not forsaken;
     Light from above will lead to Christ, our rest!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

You, My People, Shall Be Holy!

Hymn written to the glory of God in grateful thanksgiving for the teaching and ministry of Dr. John Kleinig, for his Festschrift.

1.  You, My people, shall be holy!
     I AM God, your holy LORD."
     Flawed all human thought and effort--
     God must holiness afford!
     "Make an Ark and Tabernacle."
     With His own the LORD would meet:
     Veiled within the cloudy pillar,
     Throned above the Mercy Seat.

2.  At the altar of burnt off'ring,
     In the daily sacrifice,
     There the LORD forgave His people,
     Cov'ring sin, removing vice;
     On the Day of the Atonement,
     Ent'ring that Most Holy Place,
     Cleansing blood the priest would sprinkle
     On the Ark before God's face.

3.  Christ, incarnate Tabernacle--
     With the world God deigned to dwell!
     Flesh disguised the LORD's high glory:
     Virgin-born Immanuel!
     Good that Friday of Atonement,
     When on Golgotha's dread hill,
     Christ upon the altar offered
     Priceless blood, God's wrath to still.

4.  Christ behind the veil then entered,
     Stood before the Father's throne,
     There His sacred lifeblood sprinkling,
     Which would ever all atone.
     God, the Temple curtain tearing,
     That division to erase;
     God, the veil forever op'ning--
     Nothing bars us from His face!

5.  Sinners--we in Christ have access
     To the holy Three in One!
     Saints--before the Father's Presence,
     We stand dazzling as His Son!
     Christ our birth-corruption covered;
     Blest that washing of rebirth!
     Baptized, saved, all filth removing,
     As the Flood once cleansed the earth!

6.  God the Holy Spirit calls us,
     Feeds us with the Sacrament--
     Bread and wine veil blood an body,
     Feeding all, yet never spent;
     Daily sanctifies and keeps us,
     Lives in us, His holy shrines,
     With His fruit each one He graces
     To accomplish God's designs.

7.  "You, My people, shall be holy!"
     God His holiness bestows!
     Royal priests--in Christ a nation
     From eternity God chose!
     Glory be, O holy Father;
     Glory be, O holy Son;
     Glory be, O Holy Spirit--
     Ever Three and ever One!