Thursday, November 2, 2017

223. Interpretation of Scripture Hymn, Mark 2

As I said in my explanation of yesterday's original hymn, I over-planned for a projected "hermeneutics hymn," so I was forced to decide to split it into two hymns. Also, if you're looking for a polemic or a rhyming, metrical compendium of rules to understand Scripture the way I think it should be read, I'm sorry; you won't find it in either of these hymns. Their real goal is to support the (Lutheran) Christian's faithful prayer for those engaged in the task of biblical interpretation, and to fill that prayer with the truths and promises God himself provides in Scripture. The tune is YORKSHIRE (STOCKPORT) by John Wainwright, c. 1749.
O Father, in prophetic speech made known:
One with Your Word, Your sole-begotten Son:
One with Your Spirit, who moved holy men
To set Your pow'r at work by tongue or pen:
As You are one, unite our mind and heart
To serve Your word, and bear a pupil's part.

As true disciples, may we first believe
All that Your word reveals, and so receive
By faith the very gifts You promise there;
To change one letter, may we never dare.
All things are Yours; Your Yes is surely Yes:
Thereby depends our hope of blessedness.

Help us to reason from Your holy writ,
That we draw comfort, patience, hope from it.
Therein You wound and heal, You kill and raise;
Therein You bid us both repent and praise.
Conform our judgment to its holy light,
And help us handle law and gospel right.

Help us, who search Your word, not search in vain,
As those who sought salvation without gain.
We would see Christ; Lord, teach us how to look
And, looking, find Him filling all the book.
Help us, by daily searching of Your word,
To verify the gospel we have heard.

No private parsing of Your word can bless;
May we with all the saints one faith confess.
As You are one, one word in us abides,
Partial to none, nor moved by winds or tides:
So solid is this rock on which we stand
Our hope of entering the promised land.

Your word is proof against the devil's rage;
So armor us, Lord, with its sacred page.
Gird us with truth, and boot with words of peace,
Until the fiery darts of Satan cease;
Clothe us in righteousness, Your strong cuirass,
That we may stand, though earth and heaven pass.

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