Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Holy Word of God Endures Forever

This text was commissioned by CPH for the release of The Lutheran Study Bible, a hymn on the Word of God for Reformation five years ago, in 2009. Stanza 1, the power of God's Word to bring sight for those blind in sin.; stanza 2, the Gospel call goes out to all enemies of God, made such by their sin; stanza 3, the work of the Holy Spirit who makes spiritually dead people alive by the power of God's Word; stanza 4, God's Word as Law and Gospel, to cut (Law) and to heal (Gospel) with the result that our lives become Christ's letter to a fallen world. Jeffrey Blersch wrote a tune for this 11 10 11 10 D text and he named it CONCORDIA CINCINNATI.

The holy Word of God endures forever
With living truths the Spirit has revealed.
These are not myths conceived by authors clever;
They never fade like flowers of the field.
No Scripture came by human inspiration;
God breathed His life in each and ev'ry part,
So Christ, the Morning Star of our salvation,
Might dawn with sight for ev'ry blinded heart.

Christ Jesus is the content of this writing,
The banner of God's love for all unfurled,
For through the Word the Father is inviting:
"O wayward one, forsake your rebel world;
No greater gift I have than what I gave you--
My only Son for sin--that you might know
The distance that My grace stretched out to save you
And make your scarlet sins as white as snow."

O Spirit--calling, gathering, uniting--
Come, breathe Your life in all whose hope is lost
And in such lives with power come, igniting
The flames of faith first lit on Pentecost;
To those long dead, the victims of sin's vi'lence,
To all forgotten casualties of strife,
Now speak to driest bones and break the silence--
Where there is death, now raise enfleshed new life!

The holy Word of God endures forever!
It comes to hearts where sin remains concealed,
And like a two-edged sword, to pierce and sever,
It cuts the heart so that it might be healed.
With Gospel salve renew us, faith's Begetter;
Write living words, yet not with ink on stone,
But write upon our hearts, that as Christ's letter
We tell of how God saves by grace alone.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Beloved Sets For Me

This text was inspired by an American Gospel song written in 1872 by Lewis Hartsough, the text and tune of which was transported to Wales, where it received its name, GWAHODDIAD*, Welsh for "invitation."   The imagery is from the Song of Solomon. 

My Beloved sets for me
A banquet from above
And over me He stretches forth
The banner of His love.

  “Come, both great and least,”
  Calls our great High Priest,
  “I, with My own flesh and blood,
  Will feed you at My Feast.”

My delight is in the shade
Beneath His holy tree;
How sweet the taste, how fair the fruit
That falls from Calvary!    Refrain

Every fear of mine is gone
Within His strong embrace;
His loving arms that bore my shame
Assure me of His grace.    Refrain

We are robed in purest white
As Christ’s beloved bride,
Made clean by water and the blood
That flowed from Jesus' side!   Refrain