Friday, June 10, 2016

202. 'Opening' Hymn

This is not specifically an "opening hymn" in the sense of a "hymn to enter worship" - though it could be used for that. It's an "opening" hymn because it runs the theme "Christ, open our ___" into the ground. I wrote this with no particular tune in mind. I'll let you know when I come up with one.
Christ, open our eyes to see the love
That owns us the heirs of God above,
Perceiving the Word showed forth in sign:
Your body as bread, Your blood as wine;
To see, as You see, the things that are:
Your cross our strong shield and guiding star;
The light of the law, though bright and pure,
Eclipsed by Your gospel’s promise sure.

Christ, open our ears to hear the truth
That looks not on race, sex, age or youth;
A scandal to these of stiff-necked pride,
And folly to those on reason’s side:
That once, for all man, Your blood was shed,
And rising triumphant from the dead,
You promised to all who trust Your name
Escape from the grave, release from shame.

Christ, open our hearts again this day
To turn from our sins, to fast and pray,
To wait for Your hand to lift us up,
To shrink not from toil or bitter cup,
To share one another's joys and woes,
To answer with love our mortal foes,
And, brimming with hope and keen concern,
To keep our lamps trimmed for Your return.

Christ, open our hands to serve the need
Wherever You cast the gospel seed;
And likewise, that we Your gifts receive,
Lest we boast of what our hands achieve!
Since everything not of faith is sin,
Clothe us in Your grace, till we begin,
Without fear or pride or selfish taint,
To serve as You living in Your saint.

Christ, open our lips, repeating back
Your words, that supply us all we lack;
Our witness, our prayer, our hymns of praise,
Conform to Your will, Your word, Your ways!
Thus draw forth from us what You put in,
That, covering one another's sin,
We cover Your name with honor bright
And shine forth Your own life-giving light!

EDIT (Aug. 27, 2016): A day or so ago, I started a new collection of hymns with the working title Edifying Hymns for the Lutheran Church, School, and Home, with this hymn as Hymn 1. In consequence, I had to write an original tune to put above it. I'm titling it OPENING, and it looks like this:
And yes, I'm aware there is some similarity between this tune and one I wrote called JUDICA. It's different enough.

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