Sunday, October 9, 2022

375. Proper 26 (Series A)

The lessons for this Sunday between Oct. 30 and Nov. 5 are Micah 3:5-12, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 and Matthew 23:1-12. The tune is the lovely WERDE LICHT by Johann Balthasar König (1738), which the 1970s Australian Lutheran Hymnal paired with "Gentiles, rise to greet the morning." It's a strange omission from anglophone Lutheran hymnody north of the equator. Perhaps this is a chance to correct that.

Now hear this, well-prospered preachers,
Selling grace with polished grins;
Hark, you broadly-minded teachers,
Bribed to take no note of sins:
Christ does not uphold your mission,
Nor does He hear your petition.

Rather, He upholds those doing
Mercy with no hope of gain,
Justice for the poor pursuing,
Holding hands with those in pain:
Those who speak His message truly
And His footsteps follow duly.

Jesus' work, redemptive dying,
And ascension are complete;
Much remains that wants supplying
Till we bow before His feet.
Quick, then, drop your pretense galling
And fulfill your sacred calling!

Many sinners still are dying:
Some self-justified, secure;
Others fearful, vainly trying
Every nostrum, still unsure.
Jesus' "finished!" meant atonement;
He works still, this very moment.

He works still to break the sinner
Of his false security,
And to grow believers' inner,
Yes, and outer purity.
While His finished work we're praising,
Work remains until our raising,

Only then, when souls perfected
Join again their risen clay,
Will the saying be reflected
That we hold in hope today:
Preparations all completed,
Let the Bridegroom's guests be seated!

Now, sons of the Shepherd, hearken!
Listen to His trusty voice,
Lest the foe your counsels darken
And the enemy rejoice!
Do the work Christ gives you purely;
Speak, hear, trust His promise surely!

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