Saturday, January 21, 2023

495. Proper 25 (Series C)

The lessons for this Sunday (Oct. 23-29) are Genesis 4:1-15, 2 Timothy 4:6-18 (skipping verses 9-15) and Luke 18:9-17, part of which is the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, about which I previously wrote this hymn. The tune is LYONS, adapted from J. Michael Haydn (†1806), Papa Joseph's brother; it has seen use in anglophone Lutheranism alongside the hymns "Delay not, delay not, O sinner, draw near," "O worship the King, all-glorious above" and "Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim." It's also the tune that, along with HANOVER, makes "Identify this tune within five notes" a trick question on your Hymnology 101 drop-the-needle test.

Have mercy on me, the sinner, O God!
Look not on my works but on Jesus' blood.
I gaze not on heaven with self-righteous eye,
But humbly repenting, for grace I apply.

I dare not my guilt to others' compare,
Nor on any good in me base my prayer.
Were I on my fasting or tithes to depend,
My pretense to goodness itself would offend.

But lo, I will plead no virtues or charms,
But cast me on You, a babe in Your arms:
Though little I've served You in deed or in thought,
Permit me to enter the kindgom of God!

And if I now stand unstained in Your eyes,
What doubt dare I hold o'er them You baptize?
If children more fondly than all You would bless,
I'll count not on what I but You, Lord, profess.

Count me, then, with those You hold on Your knee!
Lay hands on my mind; form me inwardly.
Teach me from a free heart Your footsteps to trace,
A sinner by nature, a saint by Your grace.

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