Friday, January 8, 2021

Scratch and Dent 10

Further to my previous post and the string of references listed therein, here are a few more lines of my immature, college-level (c. 1993) attempts to write hymnody, refurbished at a riper age with the experience of writing close to 300 hymns. Once again, it's nice to see the evidence of how far I've come, and that I'm still improving. As the joke goes, the way to Carnegie Hall is practice, practice, practice!

287. Word and Sacrament Hymn

True Word of God, whose power brought forth
The earth and heavens and all therein,
Now we behold You on the earth,
Come in the flesh to vanquish sin.

True God from all eternity,
Without whom nothing has been made,
You come in stark humility,
Rag-bound and in a manger laid.

Yet we beheld Your glory, Lord,
As of the Father's only Son:
Men saw the vigor of the Word
In signs and wonders, matched by none.

Your Word alone would cure the ill,
No less forgive the penitent;
Yet in Your Passion, You kept still,
Enduring death by mute consent.

Lo, even death cannot undo
The promises we cherish still:
Your rising from the grave proves true
The hope of life You shall fulfill.

You have gone up, yet You remain;
The Word and Spirit that You send
Have power to break the captive's chain,
That we Your gifts might apprehend.

Your precious Gospel is the hand
Whereby God cures the blind and dead;
It frees us from the devil's bands
And binds us up with You instead.

Now Baptism is a holy rite
To which Your Word real virtue gave:
A bath where we are clothed in light,
Are cleansed of sin and freely saved.

All nations, stations, ages, come!
Here be in Spirit born again;
Be drowned and buried with God's Son
And rise with Him to live and reign!

Then, when our heart is crushed by sin,
The font, drawn from our Savior's wounds,
Will drown and raise us up again:
The old man dies, the new abounds.

Another Sacrament You gave,
Christ, on the night You were betrayed:
A feast by which You serve and save
Through the atonement You displayed.

You say Your Body is the bread,
The cup Your testament and Blood,
Whereby we now proclaim Your death
Till You return to judge the world.

Of this, Your amply witnessed will,
Your heirs are we who eat in faith;
Eternal life, the codicil
Secured by Your sufficient death.

You lived as we were meant to live;
You died, as we deserved, for sin.
That sacrifice as bread You give,
And in Your cup we drink it in.

For all men, this inheritance
You purchased at such awful cost!
How freely, now, it is dispensed
To all who in Your promise trust!

Cause us, Your heirs, Your very sons,
To live on grace and love Your will.
Amen, Lord Jesus! Quickly come,
Your final promises fulfill!

PS: The hymn tune named above, which I think I may have originally written for this hymn back in '93, was published in Useful Hymns with this hymn, written in 2014. To give you an idea how it goes, here it is:

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