Sunday, May 31, 2015

115. Hymn on the "I AM" Christology

The gospel according to John is loaded with references to the name of God revealed in Exodus 3:14, "I AM WHO I AM." This is especially evident when comparing the Septuagint's Greek translation of the passage with John's original Greek. When this is kept in mind while reading John's gospel, it brings to light some amazing things about the Person of Christ. I can't imagine preaching on John without being aware of this. I wrote a long dry academic paper on it as an undergrad. Here's an attempt to apply it in a more practical way. The tune, which I am titling EGO EIMI (Greek for "I AM"), is one that I originally wrote in 2011 or so for a hymn by a fellow hymnwright. I would also be fine with the tune FARLEY CASTLE.
1. "I am," said God, "the God of Abraham;
Isaac's indeed, and Jacob's God I am."
Then Moses hid his face in holy fear,
Whom God ordained to bring His people near.

2. "But who am I," said he, "that I should go
Bring Jacob's children out of Egypt so?"
"Surely I will be with you," God replied,
"As you their way and worship hither guide."

3. Said Moses, "When Your message I proclaim,
What shall I say to them who ask Your name?"
"I AM," said God, "WHO I AM; therefore tell
'I AM has sent me' unto Israel."

4. He who, alone of all earth’s gods, can claim
"THAT WHICH I AM" to be His proper name,
Sent in these latter days the only Son,
Who is of substance with the Father one.

5. "I AM," said Christ, "the One who speaks to you,
Woman of Sychar, and My word is true;
The hour is coming soon, and even is,
When all God seeks to serve Him will be His."

6. "I AM the Bread of life," the Savior said,
"Bread that comes down from heav'n, and living Bread.
Some lived on Moses' manna day by day;
All who eat of this Bread will live for aye."

7. "I AM the Light of men," said Christ, "and he
Will have the light of life who follows Me;
Since facts are proven on the word of two,
My witness and the Father's must be true."

8. "If you believe not that I AM," He said,
"Sons of this world, in sin you yet are dead;
When unto death you lift the Son of Man,
Then you shall recognize me as I AM."

9. "Your father Abraham," the Savior said,
"My day desired to see, saw and was glad."
Some asked Him, "Have You, then, seen Abraham?"
He said, "Ere Abraham was born, I AM."

10. "I AM," said Christ, "the door by which the sheep
Go out to pasture and go in to sleep.
Lambs who would see salvation, come to Me;
I'll give you life, and that abundantly."

11. "I AM," said Jesus, "your good Shepherd too;
Not like the hireling who abandons you.
I know my sheep, and by them am I known;
That they may live I lay my own life down."

12. "I AM the Resurrection," Jesus said.
"None who believe in Me are truly dead.
Who knows I AM the Life shall therefore rise
And live forever even if he dies."

13. Said Jesus ere the Paschal board was laid,
"I AM your Lord and Teacher as you said.
If then to kneel and serve you I deem meet,
You also ought to wash each other's feet."

14. "I say," said He, "that you may know I AM:
He who betrays Me shares this festal lamb.
So it is fitting that the Lord should go
Back to His Father by a way of woe."

15. "Way, Truth, and Life," said He, "I AM alone;
Only through Me can one approach the throne.
If you would live and bear the fruit divine,
Be you as branches; for I AM the Vine."

16. At His arrest, the night before He died,
Ere Christ His power fully laid aside,
His jailers asked if Jesus was His name
And fell in worship at His meek, "I AM."

17. "I AM the first and last," Christ Jesus said.
"I AM the living One who once was dead.
Alpha and O I AM, who searches hearts
And fresh, free water to your thirst imparts."

18. "I AM," says He, "the opening and close,
Who holds all power and all secrets knows;
Both Root and Branch of David's lively stem
And your bright Star of dawning life I AM."

19. Amen! Lord Jesus, unto You we call,
Who throned on high are now made all in all;
Help us, that knowing You, we too may be
Who You would have us be eternally!

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