Thursday, January 12, 2023

480. Proper 8 (Series C)

The lessons for this Sunday (June 26-July 2) are 1 Kings 19:9b-21, Galatians 5:1 skipping to 13-25 and Luke 9:51-62. These passages include the "fruit of the Spirit" passage in Galatians 5, on which I've already written a hymn, and an episode linking the careers of Elijah and Elisha, about each of whom I also wrote a hymn; the episode related in the first lesson is touched on in the Elijah hymn. And finally, the Gospel lesson features verses that every LCMS district president who preached in the seminary chapel while I was a student used to beat the seminarians over the head. I guess the fact that I put my hand to the plow and looked back just goes to their point. The tune is DISTRESS from William Walker's Southern Harmony (1835), which LBW paired with "O Christ, the healer, we have come" and "We place upon your table, Lord." The arrangement is my own.

For freedom you have been set free.
Yet, brethren, use that liberty
Not that your flesh may take pretext,
But that each soul may serve the next.

Your liberty was dearly bought;
E'en so make love your foremost thought,
Fulfilling in one word all law
And sheathing savage tooth and claw.

Behold, the flesh and Spirit war
Within your members, all the more
As in the Spirit you proceed
And from law's bondage you are freed.

The flesh's works arise, one sees,
From lusts and hates and jealousies,
From idols, dissipation, strife;
And those who do them forfeit life.

But those who are in Christ have died,
The flesh's passions crucified;
Upon the Spirit's way they fare,
And hundredfold His fruits they bear:

Love, joy, peace, patience they display;
Kind, giving, faithful is their way;
In meekness, self-controlled they go,
Against which things there is no law.

Such are those who with Jesus walk,
Therefore quail not, look back nor balk;
Go on the strength the Spirit gives,
And follow Him who ever lives.

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