Sunday, June 28, 2015

119. Hymn of Hunger and Thirst for the Sacrament

I felt every line of this hymn since, due to complications of geography, scheduling and communion fellowship I haven't been able to take the Lord's body and blood since April.

O Bread of those who falter
And Cup of those who thirst,
Whose promise does not alter,
Whose death hell's prison burst:
Behold, O Christ, a famished soul
Whose broken heart yearns to be whole!
Behold a vile defaulter
Whose sin is of the worst!

Sin in my flesh is rooted
And sets my will to rout;
The world, with sin polluted,
Besets me all about;
The devil plays his cunning role,
And long affliction takes its toll;
My vigor is diluted,
My faith disturbed by doubt.

Too long the world's vain chatter
Of false and fleeting joys
Has drowned the words that matter
With loud, distracting noise!
Would that reciting prayers and psalms
Alone were proof against these qualms!
Would that one word might scatter
The devil's thousand ploys!

But once from heaven's palace
You, Son of God, came down
And in blest bread and chalice
Forgiving grace made known:
Your body sacrificed, Your blood
Are made a life-restoring food,
That sin nor Satan's malice
No more may seize Your own.

To me, Redeemer, hasten
This medicine to give;
My sinful members chasten,
My chastened soul forgive!
May Your atonement fill me up
As often as on You I sup,
Till death-rimed eyes I fasten
On You in whom I live!

EDIT: Here's the only hymn tune I know of that fits this meter, the Norwegian folk tune HVOR DET BLIR GODT Å LANDE.

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