Sunday, July 13, 2008

Preach You the Word

Martin H. Franzmann, scholar, seminary professor, and gifted hymnwriter, has many fine texts that bless our church body and the Church at large.  One that ties in beautifully with tomorrow's Gospel lesson from Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23, "The Parable of the Sower," is the hymn "Preach You the Word."

I love this hymn for many reasons.  First of all, as a pastor and preacher, I find great comfort in this hymn text.  Far and above all that seems important and enduring in this world is the Word of God.  That Word has been entrusted to pastors to preach awesome task!  And so, week after week, the preacher "scatters abroad the goodly seed" of God's Word intent that all may feast on the Bread of Life, the Lord Jesus Christ, the bread from heaven that all need. And as the pastor labors to preach the Word of God, he may see few results from his efforts. He may see the faithful slipping away as the Word of snatched or scorched or choked or matted flat.  All he can do is keep sowing..."Oh, what of that, Lord, what of that?"  But when the good seed of God's Word takes root in the human heart, the heart cleansed and made new by that good seed, and when a rich harvest is raised to the glory of God..."Ah, what of that, Lord, what of that!"  Yes, the preacher never faints because the faithful Harvest Lord watches and tends His planted Word. 

1.  Preach you the Word and plant it home
        To men who like or like it not,
     The Word that shall endure and stand
        When flow'rs and men shall be forgot.

2.  We know how hard, O Lord, the task
        Your servant bade us undertake:
     To preach Your Word and never ask
        What prideful profit it may make.

3.  The sower sows his reckless love
         Scatters abroad the goodly seed,
     Intent alone that all may have
        The wholesome loaves that all men need.

4.  Though some be snatched and some be scorched
         And some be choked and matted flat,
     The sower sows; his heart cries out,
        "Oh, what of that, and what of that?"

5.  Of all his scattered plenteousness
        One-fourth waves ripe on hill and flat,
     And bears a harvest hundredfold:
        "Ah, what of that, Lord, what of that!"

6.  Preach you the Word and plant it home
        And never faint; the Harvest Lord
     Who gave the sower seed to sow
        Will watch and tend His planted Word.


Orianna Laun said...

I love the line, "Oh what of that, and what of that?" I don't know why.
This hymn needs to be sung more by those who don't "preach the word and plant it home" but rather tickle itching ears.

amelithpastor said...

It is a favorite line of mine too, nicely counterbalanced by the final line of stanza five. Yes, there may be growth, but it is the result of the good seed of God's Word. All glory to God for the results that His Word brings!

Adam Born said...

Amen, brother.