Saturday, March 15, 2014

Passover Hymn

Thanks to the amazing Matthew Carver, a talented and prolific translator of hymns, for giving me the idea for this in his translation of a Latin Easter sequence.
Lord God, who once brought Israel out
From Pharaoh's yoke and chain,
Now save us too from sin and doubt,
From tyranny of pain.
By faith we are Israel indeed,
As You all ages planned.
In Christ You shouldered all our need;
By right of Him we stand.

The hardened heart, O God, is proof
Against both plague and sign;
Come bane or boon, it stands aloof,
Will not toward You incline.
Soften whom You will soften, Lord,
As when You conquered Saul;
But should some harden all the more,
Redeem us from their thrall.

Make sport of them who mock You, Lord;
Make peace with those who fear.
Make short the hours to heave and hoard;
Make space to meet us here.
Make time within our busy life
To gather in Your praise;
Make haste amid our toil and strife
To rest us on Your grace.

Lord, who made water into blood
And scourged the land with thirst,
Remember too the cleansing flood
That washed away our curse.
That which as blood You consecrate,
We taste as sweetest wine;
Through Him whose death we venerate,
Make us Your spotless shrine.

As Egypt's beds and ovens burst
With hopping, croaking toads,
Our conscience wriggles, even worse,
With guilt whose ooze corrodes.
Though dust be lice, though flies may swarm,
Though flesh erupt in sores,
Though man and beast alike take harm,
Our sin afflicts us more.

Though hail destroy, though locusts chew,
Though smothering darkness fall,
We nonetheless rely on You
To spare us through it all.
We are Your people, Lord, by faith,
Daubed with the pure Lamb's blood;
So, even in the night of death,
We know Your will is good.

Again forgive, for we repent
Our fickle, stubborn ways.
Help us to bear, and soon relent,
These bitter chastening days.
The sprinkled blood of spotless Lamb
On us your angels see;
Therefore consider us, I AM,
Your righteous flock to be.

And now, by water claimed and known,
We leave behind our foes,
Drowned in the sea and overthrown,
And go where Your light goes.
So long as we still journey here,
Lord, hold us in Your hand;
Bring us at last, beyond all fear,
Into the promised land.

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