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Happy Reformation Day! Oct. 31, 2008

October 31st, 2013
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Greetings in Christ, and a blessed and happy Reformation day to all.

Dear Christians One and All Rejoice

by Martin Luther

Dear Christians, one and all, rejoice,
With exultation springing,
And, with united heart and voice,
And holy rapture singing,
Proclaim the wonders God hath done,
How His right arm the victory won;
Right dearly it hath cost him.

2.  Fast bound in Satan’s chains I lay.
Death brooded darkly o’er me.
Sin was my torment night and day.
In sin my mother bore me.
Yea, deep and deeper still I fell.
Life had become a living hell,
So firmly sin possessed me.

3.  My own good works availed me naught,
No merit they attaining.
Free will against God’s judgment fought,
Dead to all good remaining.
My fears increased till sheer despair
Left naught but death to be my share.
The pains of hell I suffered.

4.  But God beheld my wretched state
Before the world’s foundation.
And, mindful of His mercies great,
He planned my soul’s salvation.
A father’s heart He turned to me,
Sought my redemption fervently.
He gave His dearest Treasure.

5.  He spoke to His beloved Son:
‘Tis time to have compassion.
Then go, bright Jewel of My crown,
And bring to man salvation;
From sin and sorrow set him free.
Slay bitter death for him that he
May live with Thee forever.

6.  This Son obeyed His Father’s will,
Was born of virgin mother.
And God’s good pleasure to fulfil,
He came to be my Brother.
No garb of pomp or power He wore,
A servant’s form, like mine, He bore,
To lead the devil captive.

7.  To me He spake: Hold fast to Me,
I am thy Rock and Castle;
Thy ransom I Myself will be,
For thee I strive and wrestle;
For I am with thess, I am thine,
And evermore thou shalt be mine.
The foe shall not divide us.

8.  The foe shall shed my precious blood,
Me of My life bereaving.
All this I suffer for thy good
Be steadfast and believing.
Life shall from death the victory win.
My innocence shall bear thy sin;
So art thou blest forever.

9.  Now to My Father I depart,
The Holy Spirit sending
And heavenly wisdom to impart
My help to thee extending.
He shall in trouble comfort thee,
Teach thee to know and follow Me,
And in all truth shall guide thee.

10. What I have done and taught, teach thou,
My ways forsake thou never.
So shall My kingdom flourish now
And God be praised forever.
Take heed lest men with base alloy
The heavenly treasure should destroy.
This counsel I bequeath thee.

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Categories: Lutheranism
  1. Joanne
    October 31st, 2012 at 23:07 | #1

    In reading Gunther Stiller’s book, “JS Bach and Liturgical Life in Leipzig,” on page 90 I was surprised to learn that the organ, although used to a great extent, and Bach’s job was not organist at any church in Leipzig, the singing of the hymns, such as the one above by Luther were sung after a Chorale prelude played on the organ, then the choir entoned the hymn and the whole congregation sang the hymns a capella lead by the choir. Organ accompaniment of the hymns was not practiced in Leipzig during Bach’s time. If no choir, then certain individuals had the responsibility to entone the hymns and lead the a capella hymn singing. No wonder the Germans were known for carrying a tune well and good singng, they had to.

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