Wednesday, February 6, 2019

270. Hymn for Good Preaching

I would like to dedicate the following hymn to my former pastor and friend in Christ, the Rev. Randall Bell, pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Augusta, Mo. who always impressed me as an exceptional preacher. I planned it as a "pulpit" companion to this "altar" hymn. The original tune, written last night (and not even harmonized yet) is titled KERYGMA.
Lord, grace our pulpit with a preacher
Adept to teach, that we may hear
Your living voice; and to that teacher
Bend humble heart and open ear.

Though he be full of clever phrases
Or speak as plain as Farmer Brown,
Lead us through him to fix our gazes
On You who from on high came down.

Though he be draped in silken splendor
Or sewn into an onion sack,
If witness to Your cross he render,
No scrap of comfort will we lack.

Away with men who scratch our itches
And pull the Law’s accusing tooth;
Who promise happiness and riches
But set aside the Gospel’s truth!

Give us, instead, one who will spatter
Us head to toe with cleansing blood;
Who points us to the gifts that matter,
By which You, Christ, will do us good.

Give us a man who will correct us
As shepherd would an erring flock;
Who will, through fire and flood, direct us
To You, our never failing Rock.

Bless us, in short, with fruitful preaching,
And let its seed be cast afield
Till, earth’s remotest limits reaching,
A gladsome harvest it will yield.

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