Tuesday, August 30, 2022

324. Hymn for Advent 2 (Series A)

Continuing the new three-year lectionary cycle of hymns that I've proposed to myself, here is an attempt at the second Sunday of the Church Year, which Lutheran Service Book unceremoniously dubs Advent 2. I've covered this Sunday before (in a series of hymns on the one-year lectioary) and so, of course, it might be difficult to avoid repeating myself. But I guess on that previous occasion, I was working primarily from the Epistle and Gospel lessons, so perhaps it will be safe to focus this time on the Old Testament lesson from Isaiah 11:1-10.

Picking a tune for this hymn was weirdly difficult. My ransack of English-language Lutheran hymnals had identified seven suitable tunes, and amazingly, I like them all: AUF, AUF, IHR REICHSGENOSSEN by T. Selle, 1651 (cf. The Lutheran Church of Australia's Lutheran Hymnal, 1973), the widely used if not overworked AUS MEINES HERZENS GRUNDE (Hamburg, 1598), the mighty HELFT MIR GOTTS GÜTE (from Wolfgang Figulus, 1575), the 1569 Danish tune THOMISSØN (cf. the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary and the American Lutheran Hymnal), two different tunes named VON GOTT WILL ICH NICHT LASSEN (the one by Johann Crüger, 1640, found in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book and the same Australian hymnal; the other, from 1563 Erfurt, sometimes attributed to J. Magdeburg), and ZEUCH EIN (also by Crüger, 1653, used in ELHB, The Lutheran Hymnal, and my very own Edifying Hymns). I'm not usually so spoiled for choice, and my decision went several different ways before I finally decided on Crüger's VON GOTT WILL ICH NICHT LASSEN. But you may feel free to look up any of these tunes and imagine this hymn being sung to them.

Come, Rod from Jesse's vinestock!
Come, Sprout of David's root!
Come with the Holy Spirit
And bring forth holy fruit!
Oh, that we may be blest
To see Your royal banner
Stand forth in glorious manner
And lead us to our rest!

Anointed with the Spirit,
The same, we beg You, share
That we may grow in wisdom
And insight have to spare.
Our reason and our might
Bring under Your direction,
That we, in deep subjection,
May know and fear aright.

What else is it to please You
Than that we fear Your word,
And judge not as the eye sees
Or as the ear has heard?
Your word shall shake the globe:
The guilty sinner slaying,
Your righteousness displaying,
Both shroud and festal robe.

And so, a new beginning
We look for You to bring.
Both wolves and lambs together,
Both bears and cattle sing:
The tiny child may play
And fear not asp nor dragon,
Until Your royal wagon
Rolls up in that great day.

No comments: