Saturday, January 7, 2023

475. Proper 3 (Series C)

The lessons for this Sunday after Trinity, if one occurs between May 24-28, are Genesis 50:15-21 (see also Proper 19 of Series A), Acts 2:14a skipping to 36-47 (same as Year B) and Luke 6:27-42 (optional 20-26), which, awkwardly enough, also encompasses or overlaps with the Gospel lessons for Epiphany 7 and 8 (Series C). The tune is FRÖHLICH SOLL MEIN HERZE by Johann Crüger (1653), the tune that pretty much all the anglophone Lutheran hymnbooks pair with Paul Gerhardt's Christmas hymn, "All my heart this night rejoices." You may judge at your pleasure whether the exceptions are really, at bottom, Lutheran. And while I don't normally steal tunes that are so solidly wedded to a particular hymn throughout English-speaking Lutheranism, I make this exception for two reasons: (1) It's by Johann Crüger, for sake's sake; and (2) Lovely though it is, I don't hear it being used much with all the other, more popular Christmas ditties to choose from. And given the richness of both the tune and Gerhardt's text, that's just sad. But it also means I can perhaps introduce it to many people as a new tune.

Freely give as you are given,
And forgive as you are
And would be forgiven.
Love your foes, your haters serving;
Nor from good deeds debar
Those deemed undeserving.

Who knows but when men mean evil,
God thereby would do good,
Even souls' retrieval?
Mercy therefore show each other:
When the test you have stood,
You may gain your brother.

If you give, returns expecting,
How is God glorified?
Rather, grace reflecting,
As you would by men be treated,
So treat them, whether tried
Or with friendship greeted.

Damn not, lest you see damnation;
Rather give and receive
Pardon with salvation.
Measure with abundant measure
As you hope and believe
Christ will share His treasure.

Judge not lest you be corrected,
Till the plank from your eye
Also be extracted.
Then, your neighbor's speck removing,
Both as one edify,
God's rich mercy proving.

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