Sunday, April 20, 2014

Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain

"Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain"
John of Damascus

Come, you faithful, raise the strain
Of triumphant gladness!
God has brought His Israel
Into joy from sadness.
Loosed from Pharoah's bitter yoke
Jacob's sons and daughters,
Led them with unmoistened foot
Through the Red Sea waters.

'Tis the spring of souls today:
Christ hath burst His prison,
And from three days' sleep in death
As a sun has risen;
All the winter of our sins,
Long and dark, is flying
From His light, to whom is giv'n
Laud and praise undying.

Now the queen of seasons, bright
With the day of splendor,
With the royal feast of feasts,
Comes its joy to render;
Comes to gladden faithful hearts
Which with true affection
Welcomes in unwearied strains
Jesus' resurrection!

For today among His own
Christ appeared, bestowing
His deep peace, which evermore
Passes human knowing.
Neither could the gates of death
Nor the tomb's dark portal
Nor the watchers nor the seal
Hold Him as a mortal.

Alleluia! Now we cry
To our King immortal,
Who, triumphant, burst the bars
Of the tomb's dark portal.
Come, you faithful, raise the straiin
Of triumphant gladness!
God has brought His Israel
Into joy from sadness!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sing, My Tongue the Glorious Battle

"Sing, My Tongue the Glorious Battle"
Venatius Honorius Fortunatus

Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle; 
Sing the ending of the fray. 
Now above the cross, the trophy, 
Sound the loud triumphant lay: 
Tell how Christ, the world's redeemer, 
As a victim won the day. 

Tell how, when at length the fullness 
Of the appointed time was come, 
He, the Word, was born of woman, 
Left for us His Father's home, 
Blazed the path of true obedience, 
Shone as light amidst the gloom. 

Thus, with thirty years accomplished, 
He went forth from Nazareth, 
Destined, dedicated, willing, 
Did His work, and met His death;
Like a lamb He humbly yielded 
On the cross His dying breath. 

Faithful cross, true sign of triumph, 
Be for all the noblest tree; 
None in foliage, none in blossom, 
None in fruit your equal be; 
Symbol of the world's redemption, 
For the weight that hung on thee! 

Unto God be praise and glory: 
To the Father and the Son, 
To the eternal Spirit honor 
Now and evermore be done; 
Praise and glory in the highest, 
While the timeless ages run.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted

"Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted"
Thomas Kelly

 Stricken, smitten, and afflicted,
See Him dying on the tree!
'Tis the Christ by man rejected;
Yes, my soul, 'tis He! 'tis He!
'Tis the long-expected Prophet,
David's Son, yet David's Lord;
Proofs I see sufficient of it:
'Tis the true and faithful Word.

Tell me, ye who hear Him groaning,
Was there ever grief like His?
Friends through fear His cause disowning,
Foes insulting His distress;
Many hands were raised to wound Him,
None would interpose to save;
But the deepest stroke that pierced Him
Was the stroke that Justice gave.

Ye who think of sin but lightly
Nor suppose the evil great
Here may view its nature rightly,
Here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the Sacrifice appointed,
See who bears the awful load;
Son of Man and Son of God.

Here we have a firm foundation;
Here the refuge of the lost;
Christ's the Rock of our salvation,
His the name of which we boast.
Lamb of God, for sinners wounded,
Sacrifice to cancel guilt!
None shall ever be confounded
Who on Him their hope have built.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

When You Woke that Thursday Morning

"When You Woke that Thursday Morning"
Jaroslav Vajda

When You woke that Thursday morning,
Savior, teacher, faithful friend,
Thouts of self and safety scorning,
Knowing how the day would end:
Lamb of God, foretold for ages,
Now at last the hour had come
When but One could pay sin's wages:
You assumed their dreadful sum.

Never so alone and lonely,
Longing with tormented heart
To be with Your dear ones only
For a quiet hour apart:
Sinless Lamb and fallen creature,
One last paschal meal to eat,
One last lesson as their teacher,
Washing Your disciples' feet.

What was there that You could give them
That would never be outspent,
What great gift that would outlive them,
What list will and testament?
"Show Me and the world you love Me,
Know Me as the Lamb of God:
Do this in remembrance of Me,
Eat this body, drink this blood."

One in faith, in love united,
All one body, You the head,
When we meet, by You invited,
You are with us, as You said.
One with You and one another
In a unity sublime;
See in us Your sister, brother,
One in ev'ry place and time.

One day all the Church will capture
That bright vision glorious,
And Your saints will know the rapture
That Your heart desired for us,
When the longed for peace and union
Of the Greatest and the least
Meet in joyous, blest communion
In Your never-ending feast.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Upon the Cross Extended

"Upon the Cross Extended"
Paul Gerhardt

 Upon the cross extended,
See, world, thy Lord suspended,
Thy Savior yields His breath.
The Prince of Life from heaven
Himself hath freely given
To shame and blows and bitter death.

Come hither now and ponder,
'Twill fill thy soul with wonder,
Blood streams from every pore.
Through grief whose depth none knoweth,
From His great heart there floweth
Sigh after sigh of anguish o'er.

Who is it that hath bruised Thee?
Who hath so sore abused Thee
And caused Thee all Thy woe?
While we must make confession
Of sin and dire transgression,
Thou deeds of evil dost not know.

I caused Thy grief and sighing
By evils multiplying
As countless as the sands.
I caused the woes unnumbered
With which Thy soul is cumbered,
Thy sorrows raised by wicked hands.

'Tis I who should be smitten
My doom should here be written:
Bound hand and foot in hell.
The fetters and the scourging,
The floods around Thee surging,
'Tis I who have deserved them well.

Thy cords of love, my Savior,
Bind me to Thee forever,
I am no longer mine.
To Thee I gladly tender
All that my life can render
And all I have to Thee resign.

Thy cross I'll place before me,
Its saving power be o'er me,
Wherever I may be;
Thine innocence revealing,
Thy love and mercy sealing,
The pledge of truth and constancy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth

"A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth"
Paul Gerhardt

A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth,
The guilt of all men bearing;
And laden with the sins of earth,
None else the burden sharing!
Goes patient on, grow weak and faint,
To slaughter led without complaint,
That spotless life to offer;
Bears shame and stripes, and wounds and death,
Anguish and mockery, and saith,
"Willing all this I suffer."

 This Lamb is Christ, the soul's great Friend,
The Lamb of God, our Savior;
Him God the Father chose to send
To gain for us His favor.
"Go forth, My Son," the Father saith,
"And free men from the fear of death,
From guilt and condemnation.
The wrath and stripes are hard to bear,
But by Thy Passion men shall share
The fruit of Thy salvation."

 "Yea, Father, yea, most willingly
I'll bear what Thou commandest;
My will conforms to Thy decree,
I do what Thou demandest."
O wondrous Love, what hast Thou done!
The Father offers up His Son!
The Son, content, descendeth!
O Love, how strong Thou art to save!
Thou beddest Him within the grave
Whose word the mountains rendeth.

From morn till eve my theme shall be
Thy mercy's wondrous measure;
To sacrifice myself for Thee
Shall be my aim and pleasure.
My stream of life shall ever be
A current flowing ceaselessly,
Thy constant praise outpouring.
I'll treasure in my memory,
O Lord, all Thou hast done for me,
Thy gracious love adoring.

Of death I am no more afraid,
New life from Thee is flowing;
Thy cross affords me cooling shade
When noonday's sun is glowing.
When by my grief I am opprest,
On Thee my weary soul shall rest
Serenely as on pillows.
Thou art my Anchor when by woe
My bark is driven to and fro
On trouble's surging billows.

And when Thy glory I shall see
And taste Thy kingdom's pleasure,
Thy blood my royal robe shall be,
My joy beyond all measure.
When I appear before Thy throne,
Thy righteousness shall be my crown,-
With these I need not hide me.
And there, in garments richly wrought
As Thine own bride, I shall be brought
To stand in joy beside Thee.

Monday, April 14, 2014

In Silent Pain the Eternal Son

Each day of Holy Week this year (except for Palm Sunday, as I am a bit behind), I am going to post a hymn stanza.  Enjoy them as you reflect.

"In Silent Pain the Eternal Son"
Christopher M. Idle

In silent pain the eternal Son hangs derelict and still;
In darkened day His work is done, fulfilled, His Father's will.Uplifted for the world to see He hangs in strangest victory,For in His body on the tree He carries all our ill.

He died that we might die to sin and live for righteousness;
The earth is stained to make us clean and bring us into peace.
For peace He came and met the cost; He gave Himself to save the lost;
He loved us to the uttermost and paid for our release.

For strife He came to bring a sword, the truth to end all lies;
To rule in us, our patient Lord, until the evil dies:
For in His hand he holds the stars, His voice shall speak to end our wars,
And those who love Him see His scars and look into His eyes.