Wednesday, November 16, 2022

439. Proper 24 (Series B)

The lessons for this service, a Sunday after Trinity during Oct. 16-22, are Ecclesiastes 5:10-20, Hebrews 4:1-13 (optional 14-16) and Mark 10:23-31. The tune is DER TAG, DER IST SO FREUDENREICH, a.k.a. BOYE, a.k.a. DIES IST LAETITIAE, a.k.a. TO US IS BORN, a 15th century German melody that across quite a few hymnals, and with certain rhythmic alterations, has been paired anywhere from once to three or more times each with such texts as "A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth," "Now hail the day so rich in cheer," "Holy Spirit God of love," "In this our happy Christmastide," "O Light of God's most wondrous love," "To us is born a blessed child" and "Who are these that earnest knock." I was actually prompted to use this tune by a hymn by Mark Preus in Christian Culture magazine. And by the way, I have a painting similar to the one shown here, by Heinrich Hoffmann, on my living room wall.

How hard it is for those with wealth
The promised rest to enter!
What thieves break in and take by stealth,
What rot eats from the center,
May please indeed the owner's eye
But stays behind when he shall die,
Bare as he came returning;
Meanwhile at night he lies awake,
Thoughts of what he may lose or take
A futile fever burning.

He who loves money longs for more,
Unsatisfied with plenty.
Far happier the faithful poor,
Content with few or many.
Bad dealings sweep his goods away;
With costly tastes and cares in play,
Mere wind rewards his striving;
And as his days grow few and dim,
Grief, illness, trouble come to him
Despite his deep conniving.

But there remains for us a rest
Beyond this life's employment,
Where God has promised to the blest
Unearned, unmixed enjoyment.
Oh, for that gift no gold can buy,
Nor adversary can deny,
To feast in spotless raiment!
He who has promised will fulfill,
For all things lie within His skill
And Christ has made full payment.

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