Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Acrostic Psalm, Parts V-VI

Before introducing these next two hymns, which are segments of the Psalm 119-ish super-hymn that I've been working on since before the New Year, I would like to give a shout-out to the Rev. Dr. David Scaer. Over the weekend I watched a three-hour video of him defending the doctrine of the atonement against today's "radical Lutherans" and others of their stripe. His lecture both spurred me to finish this hymn at a rapid pace, and inspired me to splash a lot of Christ's blood on it. If the tunes may not seem completely appropriate to the tone of the text, it might be worth pointing out that I had already written them before I wrote these hymns. Or, you could just put it down to the depth of expression that is possible when the melody and poetry combine in a paradoxical way. Whatever. I confess, it was my intention almost until the end to write stanzas for X, Y and Z, but I just couldn't come up with enough appropriate words beginning with those letters to start off the lines. So, the hymn says "A to Z," but it's actually A to W.

268. Acrostic Psalm, Part V
Tune: SELAH, by Yours Truly, sometime last week.
Quake, blood-daubed earth! Be darkened, sun!
Queer was the hour God quit His Son!
Quizzed by the questioner’s barb’d tail,
Quiescent ’neath the hangman’s nail,
Quenched by the quack’s narcotic quaff,
Quelled by the mob queued up to laugh:
Quoth He, “My God!”—but hearts must here
Quite overflow with love and fear!

Reel, mind!—that God should, for your gain,
Renounce His Son in blood and pain!
Roar, heart, in horror at the cost
Revealed when Christ redeemed the lost!
Repent, O soul, before the rod
Raised onto which incarnate God
Reigns age to age, and thus enthroned,
Robs hell of them for whom He groaned!

Speak, lips touched by the Sacrament!
Sing, tongue, cleansed by the blood He spent,
Shed as the sacrificial coin
So we salvation’s choir might join!
Sound string and bell! Blow pipe and reed!
Say from what bondage you are freed!
Selah—rise, music! Isra√®l
Shall not be swallowed into hell!

Turn, then, barbarian or Greek,
To this, the unknown God you seek;
Turn, offspring of His favored race,
To Him who gazes on God’s face!
Throw off the chains that bind and choke;
Take up His light and easy yoke.
Then, by His promise, You will be
True heirs of life, from sin set free.

269. Acrostic Psalm, Part VI
Tune: MASKIL, also by me, last week
Use, brethren, use the present hour,
Until Christ comes again with pow’r:
Unbind those bound by sin and grief;
Urge them to share in pure belief.
Unsettle those who settle scores;
Unseat the judge; unstop the doors;
Unsteel the foe of love and peace;
Unite as one, and so increase.

Vaunt not vulgarity and vice;
Vie, little flock bought with a price,
Vie one another’s faults to veil;
Vouch for their virtue, kind and hale.
Vex not each other, lest you make
Vain what the Lord did for your sake.
View Christ in them, till all as one
Voice psalms of vict’ry to God’s Son.

Wake, faith and hope; the hour makes haste!
Why do you drowse? Arise, and taste
What is prepared for whom the Lord
Would summon to His wedding board!
White are the fields, the night far spent;
Wan grows the eastern firmament
Where, all at once, we soon shall see,
With living eyes, the A to Z.

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