Thursday, October 27, 2022

406. Lent 4 (Series B)

The lessons for this service are Numbers 21:4-9, Ephesians 2:1-10 and John 3:14-21. It's a challengeing selection, since the Gospel overlaps with that of Series A/Lent 2 (John 3:1-17) and Pentecost Evening/Monday (John 3:16-21). The tune is O GUD, DITT RIKE INGEN SER, a.k.a. WALDIS, by Burkhard Waldis (1553), which the American Lutheran Hymnal paired with "Thy sacred Word, O Lord, of old."

By grace through faith we have been saved,
Not our own undertaking;
By God's gift, not how we behaved,
An object of His making.
For when all flesh in sin was dead,
For wrath and doom appointed,
A sign was lifted overhead:
God's crucified Anointed.

Recall how, fed on desert bread,
The sons of Israel grumbled;
How fiery serpents struck some dead
And those who lingered, humbled.
At God's command, a pole was raised,
A serpent's form revealing,
And those who on that symbol gazed
Were granted life and healing.

Just so, the cross of Jesus Christ
T'ward eyes of faith is lifted,
Where, due to what God sacrificed,
Salvation now is gifted.
With Jesus, God has made alive
Those who in death were living,
That we in heaven may arrive,
A rich reward deriving.

What love! What love the Father's breast
Must for all sinners cherish,
To give His Son lest those oppressed
By Satan's wiles should perish;
That those who, pierced by serpent's tooth,
Were unto death infected,
Might now, believing in the truth,
Be unto life perfected!

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