Sunday, November 30, 2014

Scratched and Dented 3

More revisions of hymns long buried in my high school and college poetry album... They're still not great, but they're better than they originally were, I think! (EDIT: Hymn numbers added)

73. The Royal Wedding Feast

Father, who have spread a feast,
Calling men from east and west
To Your Son's high day;
Spurned by greatest and by best,
Now invite the worst and least:
Even us, we pray!

Draw us near to celebrate
With the Lord of life who died
His triumphal hour.
Grant that, with the church His bride,
We with readiness might wait
Till He comes with power.

Make us worthy to partake
Of the living Lamb once slain,
Feeding soul and flesh.
Keep us till he comes again,
Bridegroom's bread with us to break,
All things to refresh.

Come, devoted Paraclete,
Keep our vigil in Your care
Till that day appears!
Guide the wise, the foolish spare
Lest the Lord on stealthy feet
Find us unawares.

Come, beloved Bridegroom, come,
Claim Your bride in spotless gown
Whitened with Your blood;
Who for us stooped meekly down,
Draw us to Your own high home
In the realm of God.

74. The Confessional Church

United by one truth, confessed
In faithfulness and love,
We know our fellowship is blessed
By Him who reigns above.

On this we base our fellowship:
Where Christ is rightly taught,
His sacred ordinances kept
In prayerful deed and thought.

Those yoked by other means may find
Their life harnessed to death;
Let us therefore be of one mind
On matters touching faith.

We seek and cherish harmony
Above all else but truth;
We walk together peaceably,
Our hearts as one in sooth.

If any brother would abide
In error or in sin,
In love be fellowship denied
Till we be one again.

The unexamined from our meal
Our love bids us exclude,
Lest they come under judgment's seal
For touching heavenly food.

From love and faith, not prejudice,
Proceeds our unity;
And union, not division, is
The end we hope to see.

A stronger bond of faith and love
Is now our theme in prayer;
We long to join the church above,
And fully see it there.

Till then, God grant His Word to hold
Our single heart in thrall,
That of our bond the tale be told:
All one, and One in all.

75. Nunc Dimittis Hymn

Lord, now let Your humble slave
Go in peace, for I have seen
And believed Your pledge to save
All who trust from guilt and grave.

I have tasted and believed
That Your grace is full and free;
I have trusted and received,
And my burden is relieved.

Christ, to all the nations Light
And to Israel glory true,
You have won the dreadful fight;
Is the kingdom not in sight?

Praise the Lord! We near the end;
Soon the birthpangs cease, and then
Christ in glory shall descend.
All God's people say, Amen!

76. Trinity Hymn

Lord, who in Christ has punished sin
Lest we bear our own sentence,
Now by Your Spirit dwelling in
Our hearts, we pray, call us each day
To confident repentance!

Immanuel of wondrous light
Whom prophets long expected,
With pardon counsel us aright,
That heavenly peace in us have lease,
Our hearts to You directed!

Spirit of God, to weary hearts
Bring rest from woe and terror;
Draw us to Christ by coaxing arts,
And so become our sweetest balm;
No comforter is fairer!

The Father glorifies the Son,
Christ glorifies the Father;
Always distinct yet always One,
The Spirit loath to take from both
The glory due each other.

Help, God! No mind can comprehend,
Whether of man or spirit,
How You have neither part nor end,
And yet can be both One and Three;
Reason rebels to hear it!

Therefore take captive every thought,
Lord, to Your higher wonder;
Draw us where we have never sought,
That we Amen may answer when
You speak with voice of thunder.

77. Lord's Supper Hymn

What is the bread on which we feed?
Christ's body broken for our need!
What is the cup, as Jesus said?
His blood, for our forgiveness shed!
O nail-pierced hands, now draw us near;
O thorn-crowned head, bend down Your ear!

Upon Your hands we now depend,
And into them our all commend;
Unto Your brow we look for God
To give us His accepting nod.
We thirst for grace that from You drips:
Lord, place forgiveness on our lips!

You carry on your stripe-marred back
Our vile excess, our guilty lack;
With nail-scarred foot, Lord Jesus, feel
The serpent crushed beneath Your heel!
Now, Lord of life, shrug off men's scorn
And stride forth from the dead, firstborn!

The cloak of night is spread about
Our world with shame and shades of doubt.
False shepherds lead astray Your sheep;
The faithful daily fall asleep.
Protect, O sower Lord, Your seed;
Feed us the object of our creed!

In Your spear-riven flesh we hide,
And by Your blood are purified;
In what You give, so let us steep
That we may share Your holy sleep
And, rising when You bid us rise,
Drink in Your beauty with our eyes.

78. Prophet, Priest and King Hymn

No greater prophet has ever declared
Judgment or promise from heaven
Than God's own Son, who no sorrow was spared
Till He full measure had given.
He undertook every word to fulfill
Of Law and prophet, proclaiming
Peace in our time by God's merciful will,
Calling the lost, the proud shaming.

No priest has given such full sacrifice
To reconcile man with heaven
As God's own Son, who Himself would suffice
When He full measure had given.
Both priest and victim He perfectly proves,
God's sanctuary unveiling;
His blood the sin of all races removes,
Once and for all time availing.

No higher king reigns on so high a throne
As Christ, ascended to heaven;
No longer thorns but all glory alone
Him in full measure is given.
Thence to all corners He reaches with grace,
God's might upon our need bearing.
Where One has gone all men shall come with haste,
Robes of His righteousness wearing.

79. Wedding Hymn

As with one voice we praise the Lord
That two of us are made one flesh,
One blood, one bone by plighted word,
With one hope, mercy daily fresh.

Today the oath this woman swears
Bids Christ with them as one be bound:
To brighten joys, to soften cares,
That proofs of pious love abound.

Today the man who takes this wife
Christ's love for all believers shows;
To love her more than very life
And live to honor her he vows.

Now what our God has joined as one
Let none but timely death divide,
Until the Bridegroom, Christ His Son,
Presents us spotless as His bride.

There is still lots more to come, including a hymn paraphrase of the Te Deum and another of the Athanasian Creed. To which, mindful of all the hard work of rewriting I have had to do already, I say: Kyrie eleison!

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