The Seventh Commandment, again as Lutherans and Catholics number them, says: "You shall not steal." From this commandment I extrapolate the following installment in my series of decalog hymns. As with the other hymns in this series, I invite your specific, constructive criticism so that I can improve this "work in progress." And lest you think this invitation is the lie it often is, know that I have already made changes to the previous hymns in the series--including writing an entirely new stanza--in response to the advice of intelligent readers.
O Christ, to whom all things belong,
All pow'rs in earth and heaven,
We raise to You a thankful song
For all gifts you have given.
For all we have, a trust from You,
Account and tribute both are due,
Good faith toward You requiring;
Toward all men, love untiring.
Though faithless stewards we may be,
Some wasteful, others hoarding,
Depriving one of property,
Another ill rewarding:
Have mercy, Christ, as formerly
You bade the swindler, "Follow Me,"
And eased a robber's dying,
Your heav'nly hope applying.
A thief comes but to break and kill,
To steal another's treasure;
You, Christ, came with the stated will
To give life, passing measure.
Call to repentance those who steal,
And mark them with Your pardon's seal
Till we awake possessing
On high Your blood-bought blessing.