Sunday, March 13, 2011

18. Invocavit Hymn

The title above refers to the introit for Divine Service today, the First Sunday in Lent. The hymn below refers to the Gospel for ditto, Matthew 4:1-11. As I wrote this hymn I had no particular tunes in mind, but on searching for good tunes in the SMD (6686 D) meter I found two candidates that appealed to me. If you're interested in trying this out at your church, drop me a line and I can furnish you with fully harmonized accompaniment.
Ere Adam's seed was sown
In our first mother's womb,
In bondage all our race was thrown
To trouble, toil, and tomb.
Now Christ, the Virgin's Seed,
Like us in all but sin,
Takes up the burden of our need,
A heav'nly rest to win.

Once by a serpent's guile
In Adam all men died,
Succumbing to the devil's wile
To set God's Word aside.
Now, in the time elect,
The Chosen of God's heart
Employs the same Word to deflect
The tempter's fiery dart.

The first man was cast out
From Eden with his wife,
Condemned to come to dust without
The lively Tree of Life.
The second Adam goes
By Spirit-chosen ways
And, willing, bears starvation-throes
For forty bitter days.

Well would the tempter seek
Our Champion to mislead;
So Satan first intends to pique
His belly's urgent need.
But not by bread alone,
Says Christ, is man to live;
Thus by God's Word does He atone
For the bad faith of Eve.

The foe next urges, "Leap,
And try God's promised aid!
Prove that His holy angels keep
His people, as God said!"
Says Christ, "You shall not tempt
The Lord of heaven so"--
A two-edged answer whose contempt
Must chafe the chivvying foe.

"Look then from mountain height;
I'll give You all the world
If you but serve me." Here, with might,
His subtlest dart is hurled;
For only through the cross
Can sinful man be healed.
But here, again, the tempter's loss
By God's pure Word is sealed.

The second Adam thus
Repaired and, yes, reversed
The shame and failure all of us
Inherit from the first.
Despite this victory
His laurel He laid down,
And suffered, crowned with thorns, that we
Might wear the Victor's crown.

O God, grant us the strength,
Through feeding on Your Bread,
To fight the tempter, and at length
In Your feast-hall be fed;
And that we then might kiss
Your Son with grateful tears,
Let not our struggles go amiss,
Nor bring to pass our fears.

Where we have failed, forgive
In Jesus' blessed name;
Breathe into us that we may live
To glorify the same.
Shelter us with Your arm;
Your heavenly angels send
To stand for us against all harm
And keep us to our end.

1 comment:

amelithpastor said...

What a wonderful text, Robin. Theologically rich and well-constructed. Thanks for sharing it and keep up the good work!