Tuesday, September 27, 2022

356. Proper 8 (Series A)

For the Sunday between June 26 and July 2, the LSB 3-year lectionary appoints Jeremiah 28:5-9, Romans 7:1-13 and Matthew 10:34-42. I've written a Romans 7 hymn before. And again, kind of, before that. So, the main focus in this hymn is on the Gospel lesson.

The tune (above) is IAM MOESTA, sometimes spelled JAM MOESTA, a.k.a. DESPAIR NOT, O HEART, possibly dating back to the 4th century, sometimes attributed to Martin Luther and found in Christliche Geseng Lateinisch und Deutsch, zum Begrebnis, of Wittenberg, 1542. The old Lutheran Hymnary, The Concordia Hymnal and Service Book and Hymnal all paired it with "Despair not, O heart, in thy sorrow," a funeral hymn of Prudentius that Luther possibly translated into German; TCH further paired it with "Now found is the fairest of roses."

Beware, little ones, of false teachers
Who preach peace of their own inventing;
For Jesus, the choicest of preachers,
Not peace but a sword came presenting.

His word son from father divided,
And daughter from mother, displaying
What cross His disciples betided,
With loved ones each other betraying.

Beware of their clever devices,
Those teachers whose maxims are charming;
While Christ sets discipleship's prices
At rates that our minds find alarming.

To love Him, He says, may mean choosing
Him rather than children or parents;
To bear one's own cross, even losing
One's life, holding but this assurance:

That Christ's love compelled Him to carry
Our sin to the cross, far exceeding
The duty He felt unto Mary,
His pain, shame and death for us pleading.

A pupil must be like his Master,
From Christ learning love and cross-bearing;
And whether apostle or pastor,
Who hears them the Savior is hearing.

Therefore, complain not if Christ's saying
Should trouble your reason or feeling;
For God, through His rough way of playing,
Faith's narrow, hard road is revealing.

Instead, rest on Jesus your favor
Above every idol that claims it;
For His love for you does not waver,
Borne out by His cross and what stains it.

Then, blest be the preacher who truly
The cross and its meaning exposes;
And blest be the hearer who duly
Believes in the peace it discloses!

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