Wednesday, March 25, 2020

A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth

Perhaps my absolute favorite hymn of all time is Paul Gerhardt's, "A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth." Christ-centered and atonement focused!  Gerhardt masterfully depicts the perfect obedience of God the Son to the will of God the Father by means of the dialogue that occurs between the two in the latter lines of stanza 2 and the opening lines of stanza 3. 

1.  A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth,
    The guilt of sinners bearing
    And, laden with the sins of earth,
    None else the burden sharing;
    Goes patient on, grows weak and faint,
    To slaughter led without complaint,
    That spotless life to offer,
    He bears the stripes, the wounds, the lies 
    The mockery, and yet replies, 
    “All this I gladly suffer.” 

2. This Lamb is Christ, the soul’s great friend,
    The Lamb of God, our Savior,
    Whom God the Father chose to send 
    To gain for us His favor.
    “Go forth, My Son,” the Father said, 
    “And free My children from their dread 
    Of guilt and condemnation. 
    The wrath and stripes are hard to bear,
    But by Your passion they will share
    The fruit of Your salvation.”

3. “Yes, Father, yes, most willingly 
    I’ll bear what You command me. 
    My will conforms to Your decree, 
    I’ll do what You have asked me.” 
    O wondrous Love, what have you done! 
    The Father offers up His Son,
    Desiring our salvation. 
    O Love, how strong You are to save! 
    You lay the One into the grave 
    Who built the earth’s foundation. 

3. Lord, when Your glory I shall see 
    And taste Your kingdom’s pleasure, 
    Your blood my royal robe shall be, 
    My joy beyond all measure!
    When I appear before Your throne,
    Your righteousness shall be my crown; 
    With these I need not hide me.
    And there, in garments richly wrought,
    As Your own bride shall I be brought 
    To stand in joy beside You. 


Unknown said...

When I was investigating Lutheranism, I was led to a copy of TLH, my first exposure to Lutheran hymns. I remember reading/singing this one all alone at a piano in the Evangelical Free church where I was working. I remember being absolutely stunned by this poetry-- this intertrinitarian conversation with God sending his Son and the Son agreeing to go. I thought, "I've never seen anything like this." So yes, this one is one of my very tippy top favorite hymns as well.

Unknown said...

And then there's the correspondingly magnificent Easter hymn by Gerhardt: "Awake, My Heart, With Gladness!"