Archive for the ‘Hymns’ Category

Blessed art Thou that Beholdest the Depths. From the Song of the Three Holy Children.

three holy children

23.  And the king’s servants, that put them in, ceased not to make the oven hot with rosin, pitch, tow, and small wood;

24.  So that the flame streamed forth above the furnace forty and nine cubits.

25.  And it passed through, and burned those Chaldeans it found about the furnace.

26.  But the angel of the Lord came down into the oven together with Azarias and his fellows, and smote the flame of the fire out of the oven;

27.  And made the midst of the furnace as it had been a moist whistling wind, so that the fire touched them not at all, neither hurt nor troubled them.

28.  Then the three, as out of one moth, praised, glorified, and blessed God in the furnace, saying,

29.  Blessed art thou, O Lord God of our fathers: and to be praised and exalted above all for ever.

30.  And blessed is thy glorious and holy name: and to be praised and exalted above all for ever.

31.  Blessed art thou in the temple of thine holy glory: and to be praised and glorified above all for ever.

32.  Blessed art thou that beholdest the depths, and sittest upon the cherubims: and to be praised and exalted for ever.

Absolution Hymn–Missing Stanzas


absolution according to jack chick

Don’t put words in God’s mouth that He doesn’t say!  That’s a bad move. God actually says the exact opposite of the “god” in this comic.  Men can and do forgive sins when God has authorized them to do so, even if it bothers the Pharisees: Cf. John 20: 22-23; Matthew 16:19; Matthew 18: 18, 20; Matthew 9:1-8

People at my congregation know this hymn, although in a different translation, but there are some stanzas that sadly aren’t in our hymnal.

On this 500th anniversary of the Reformation, one of my chief prayers is that God would cause people to recognize the gift He preserved in the Lutheran Church of the practice of private confession and absolution.  This is a gift that exists in no other church as it does in the Lutheran Church (except where they have learned it from us), and is one of the key examples of how the church of the Reformation differs in spirit from those of other protestant churches as well as from the church of Rome.  You get a glimpse of these different spirits in action when you read the sentiment expressed in the Jack Chick tract above and then compare it with the stanzas of the hymn below.  This is clearly not a minor issue.  The tract shows how fundamentalists (and American evangelicals typically) think: to trust in absolution leads to damnation.  Contrast this with the scriptural faith of the reformation that breathes in the stanzas below:

1.Yea, as I live, Jehovah saith,

I would not have the sinner’s death,

But that he turn from error’s ways,

Repent, and live through endless days.


2.  To us therefore Christ gave command:

“Go forth and preach in every land;

Bestow on all My pard’ning grace

Who will repent and mend their ways.


3. “All those whose sins ye thus remit

I truly pardon and acquit,

And those whose sins ye do retain

Condemned and guilty shall remain.


4.  What ye shall bind, that bound shall be;

What ye shall loose, that shall be free;

Unto My Church the keys are giv’n

To ope and close the gates of heav’n.”


5.  They who believe when ye proclaim

The joyful tidings in My name

That I for them My blood have shed,

Are free from guilt and Judgment dread.


7.  However great our sin may be,

The Absolution sets us free,

Appointed by God’s own dear Son

To bring the pardon He has won.


9.  This is the pow’r of Holy Keys,

It binds and doth again release;

The Church retains them at her side,

Our mother and Christ’s holy Bride.


–Nicholas Herman, 1560.  Trans. M. Loy, 1880.

To Jordan Came our Lord the Christ. Martin Luther, Trans. R. Massie.

martin luther old with bookThis translation is far better than the one in The Lutheran Service Book.  The last stanza is goosebump-inducing.

To Jordan came our Lord the Christ,

To do God’s pleasure willing,

And there was by Saint John baptized,

All righteousness fulfilling;

There did He consecrate a bath

To wash away transgression,

And quench the bitterness of death

By His own blood and Passion;

He would a new life give us.


So hear ye all, and well perceive

What God doth call Baptism,

And what a Christian should believe

Who error shuns and schism:

That we should water use, the Lord

Declareth it His pleasure;

Not simple water, but the Word

And Spirit without measure;–

He is the true Baptizer.


In tender manhood God the Son

In Jordan’s water standeth;

The Holy Ghost from heaven’s throne

In dovelike form descendeth;

That thus the truth be not denied,

Nor should our faith e’er waver,

That the Three Persons all preside,

At Baptism’s holy laver,

And dwell with the believer.


The eye of sense alone is dim,

And nothing sees but water;

Faith sees Christ Jesus, and in Him

The Lamb ordained for slaughter;

It sees the cleansing fountain, red

With the dear blood of Jesus,

Which from the sins, inherited

From fallen Adam, frees us,

And from our own misdoings.


M. Luther, 1541.  Trans. R. Massie, 1854.

I Will Sing My Maker’s Praises

  1. I will sing my Maker’s praisesgerhardt

And in Him most joyful be,

For in all things I see traces

Of His tender love to me.

Nothing but His love could move Him

With such sweet and tender care

Evermore to raise and bear

All who try to love and serve Him.

All things have their little day,

God’s great love abides for aye.

3.  Yea, so dear did He esteem me

That His Son He loved so well

He hath given to redeem me

From the quenchless flames of hell.

O Thou Spring of boundless blessing,

How could e’er my feeble mind

Of Thy depth the bottom find

Though my efforts were unceasing?

All things have their little day,

God’s great love abides for aye.

5.  All that for my soul is needful

He doth carefully provide,

Nor of that is He unheedful

Which my body needs beside.

When my strength cannot avail me,

When my powers can do no more,

Doth my God His strength outpour,

In my need He doth not fail me.

All things have their little day,

God’s great love abides for aye.

6.  All the hosts of earth and heaven

Wheresoe’er I turn mine eye,

For my benefit are given

That they may my need supply.

All that’s living, all that’s growing,

On the heights or in the woods,

In the vales or in the floods,

God is for my good bestowing.

All things have their little day,

God’s great love abides for aye.

7.  When I sleep, He still is near me,

O’er me rests His guardian eye;

And new gifts and blessings cheer me

When the morning streaks the sky.

Were it not for God’s protection,

Had his countenance not been

Here my guide, I had not seen

Any end of my affliction.

All things have their little day,

God’s great love abides for aye.

9.  As a father never turneth

Wholly from a wayward child,

For the prodigal still yearneth,

Longing to be reconciled:

So my many sins and errors

Find a tender, pardoning God,

Chast’ning frailty with His rod,

Not, in vengeance, with His terrors.

All things have their little day,

God’s great love abides for aye.

10. All His strokes and scourges truly

For the moment grievous prove

And yet, when I weigh them duly,

Are but tokens of His love,

Proofs that He is watching o’er me

And by crosses to His fold,

From the world that fain would hold

Soul and body, would restore me.

All things have their little day,

God’s great love abides for aye.

11.  On this thought I dwell with pleasure;

For it granteth joy and peace.

Christ’s cross hath its time and measure

And at last will wholly cease.

When the winter disappeareth,

Lovely summer comes again;

Joy is giv’n for woe and pain

Who his cross in patience beareth.

All things have their little day,

God’s great love abides for aye.

12.  Since, then, neither change nor coldness

In my Father’ love can be,

Lo, I lift my hands with boldness,

As Thy child I come to Thee.

Grant me grace, O God, I pray Thee,

That I may with all my might,

All my lifetime, day and night,

Love and trust Thee and obey Thee;

And when this brief life is o’er,

Praise and love Thee evermore.

–Paul Gerhardt, 1659

Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book, Concordia, 1927.

Hymn: Adam Sinned in Paradise

December 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Kasper-Neumannby Caspar Neumann, translated by Karl Hess.  December 15, 2014

Adam sinned in Paradise

His covenant with God was broken;

But God showed His mercy twice,

A new promise He has spoken—

To redeem each fallen human

With the offspring of a woman!


Come and help, Comforter true

Come, O sinners’ one salvation,

For Your God anointed You

To save men from ev’ry nation.

For besides You who can rescue

Us, Lord Jesus?  None except You!


But, my God, what worth have I

That You give Your Son up for me?

If Your grace reaches so high

As to love those who abhor Thee

What then will all they be given

Who in Christ by faith are living?


Once that You had made mankind

You were grieved and sore repented.

Who has made You change Your mind

That Your heart has now relented

And rejoices upon seeing

Your Son made a human being?


You did not take angels’ form

When they sinned, that You might save them.

Why then should Your Son be born

Unto men, for whom You gave Him?

What could flesh and blood have given

That we might have life in heaven?


Up, my heart, here is your God!

Be to Christ your welcome making,

Who Himself the Father’s rod,

Death and sin upon Him taking

Is prepared to die to merit

That you might in heav’n inherit.


To the Father of all grace

Praise be sung by ev’ry people!

Praise the Savior of our race

Who freed us from ev’ry evil.

Glory be to God in heaven

And to hell be Satan driven!

Hymn: I Have Been Crucified with Christ

September 13, 2014 Leave a comment

September 13, 2014 In time for Holy Cross Day

Galatians 2:18-21


I live no longer. Jesus cried

“Thy will be done,” and there I died

With Him in dark Gethsemane

As He contemplated for me

In bloody sweat the dearest price—

I have been crucified with Christ.


I do not nullify God’s grace

Which shines on me in Jesus’ face

Crowned with sharp thorns and spit upon.

There God has owned me as His son

And seated me upon the heights.

I have been crucified with Christ.


If I rebuild what I tore down

Take from your head the thorny crown,

Wipe off the spit and soothe the bruise

My fist has made, I only prove

That I am a transgressor twice.

I have been crucified with Christ.


If the law could give righteousness

Why are you treading the winepress

Alone, and drinking down the cup

Of wrath, and being lifted up

A curse, if works could make me right?

I have been crucified with Christ.


Father, forgive him, Jesus prayed

As nails my iniquity made

Drove through His bones and through His veins.

My pleasures bought His bitter pains;

He died for me, my heart like ice—

I have been crucified with Christ.


My soul is secure in Your hands

Bound to the pole with ropes and bands;

My body wrapped in linen clothes

As soldiers stripe Your back with blows

And for Your garments throw the dice.

I have been crucified with Christ.


Hell’s mob assaults my soul with jeers

To its scorn I have closed my ears.

Your bleeding body all I see,

All I hear: “You will be with Me

Today,” You say, “in Paradise.”

I have been crucified with Christ.

Hymn: Psalm 130

Psalm 130



Out of the depths of hell I cry

O Lord, hear me, or else I die

Beneath the rising water.

O let Your ears not turn away

The pleas for mercy that I pray.

Your mercy, Lord, remember.


If You, O Lord, kept count of sins

And set before Your countenance

Our lives as in a ledger,

Who then, O God, could ever stand

When the last horn will sound its ban

And us to judgment gather?


But with You is the burning coal

That sears the mouth and heals the soul

With tongs brought from Your altar.

There is forgiveness with You, Lord

Sent in Your sacrament and Word

To stay us when we falter.


I wait the Lord, my soul doth wait

Although it seems the narrow gate

Has closed on me forever.

As watchmen wait for day to break

I also watch, and stay awake

Until I am delivered.

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