Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A Hymn and a Sixth

I've been having somewhat of a hymn-writing dry spell lately. Last night, prompted by an opportunity to compose and arrange an original hymn tune for another Lutheran poet, I opened the work-in-progress EDIFYING HYMNS for, I believe, the first time since early August. Meantime, I had scribbled down the beginnings of two original hymns. So, I completed one of them and whipped up original tunes for both. First, the one I finished; then, the one I still have some work to do on. I reckon I have five-sixths of Hymn 263 to write yet. It's an attempt at something like Psalm 119.

262. Hymn on the Efficacy of God's Word
Tune: EFFICACY, written last night by Yours Truly.
God is not dead, nor does He sleep,
Nor from His purpose turns aside,
Nor lies, nor jests, nor idly speaks;
What He affirms is not denied.
What He commands, straightway is done,
Pledged on His dear, eternal Son.

God’s word is strong, active, alive,
Speaking the darkness into light;
It both can heal and can divide,
Kindling faith and shaming sight.
Let reason sneer, law’s bailiff brood;
God’s foolishness is true and good.

God opens hearts, calling to faith;
God speaks through men and calls to men,
Bringing to life relics of death,
Making the broken whole again.
What He calls clean is clean indeed;
Likewise forgiven, favored, freed.

God’s word can do; it will suffice:
Trust it to do the Spirit’s will.
Use but the means that God supplies;
All that He vows, He will fulfill.
All that He has, already Yours,
Thereby into Your hands He pours.

263. Acrostic Hymn
Tune: ABECEDARIAN, also written last night by Moi.
Almighty God in heaven above,
Answer our cry with faithful love.
Account our cause before Your throne
According to Your holy Son.
As He descended to our state,
Anointed with the sinner’s fate,
All who by faith are grafted in
Are thereby reckoned free of sin.

Bend down with mercy in this hour
Before we perish by the pow’r
Beƫlzebul, with thousand pranks,
Brings forth against Your City’s ranks.
Build up Her walls with words of strength;
Breathe peace throughout their height and length;
Bless them who, girded for the fray,
Bear arms in spirit night and day.

Cause angels from the realm of light,
Chaste warriors, to aid our fight.
Commit, as well, through storm and calm,
Clay vessels, charged with healing balm;
Call servants, feeble though they be,
Christ’s little lambs to oversee,
Correcting those who go astray,
Cleansed, fed and guided on Your way.

Delude the enemies who would
Destroy our peace, pollute our good;
Derange the counsels that devise
Deception in the gospel’s guise.
Defend the faithful, who defy
Denial of Your name most high;
Deliver us from all distress,
Decked daily in Your righteousness.

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