Friday, June 17, 2011

Hymn Lyrics for Mark 2:1-12

The Psalms are the Bible's hymnal. The title of the Psalms in Hebrew means praises. The Psalms are a book of praises, but they are not what we might expect from a hymnal or book of praises! Often the psalms are full of difficulties, sorrows, struggles and questions. Only as we work through these difficulties are we led to the place of praise in the psalms as we ponder their meaning in a kind of sung meditation. In fact, the whole shape of the Psalter moves from trial and suffering to praise, beginning with a situation of mocking and persecution, but ending in a great crescendo of praise in 146-150.

I mention this because I believe the hymns we write should try to mirror the psalms in many ways. Hymns in the church should be sung meditations that move us to the place of praise as we meditate on the triune God and his works for us.

In this hymn, verses 1 and 2 are an interpretation of the healing that occurs in Mark 2:1-12. The four men who went to such work to get the paralytic to Jesus wanted healing, and at first all they got was a word of pardon! More than likely what the four men wanted, first and foremost, was physical healing, not forgiveness, for their friend. But whether they knew it, or we know it, forgiveness and eternal life are our deepest need. Yes, our bodies need to be healed, but first and foremost, we need forgiveness and life in Jesus Christ.

Verses 3-4 then tell the basic story of Mark 2:1-12 through the lens of the priority of forgivness and life in Christ over physical healing. We should learn that the pattern for the paralytic is the pattern for all of God's people. God has chosen, first, to give us forgiveness and spiritual resurrection before we are given physical resurrection and final healing at the last day. The last two lines of the hymn recognize this pattern: first, pardon, and then, the resurrection of the final day. The last verse also tell us how much it cost Jesus to give us forgiveness and life as he took our mortal nature and died in our place. May meditation on all of this bring us to the place of praise.

Deepest Need of Ev’ry Person

To the tune: LAUDA ANIMA Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven. Based on Mark 2:1-12.

v. 1
Deepest need of ev’ry person:
knowing God and knowing Christ.
Those who are united to Him
have forgiveness and have life.
Seek forgiveness in the Savior,
find your life in Jesus Christ.

v. 2
Though our bodies frail and mortal:
healing not our greatest need.
Adam sinned against his Father,
His command he would not heed.
Jesus came as second Adam,
to the Father He will lead.

v. 3
Four men brought a paralytic
to the Lord in Galilee.
Wanted Jesus Christ to heal him,
exercise authority.
Jesus said, you are forgiven,
met the young man’s deepest need.

v. 4
Scribes were grumbling and complaining,
only God can sin forgive.
Jesus showed His pow’r to do it,
raised him up and healed his limbs.
Praise the Lord who gives forgiveness,
all in Him will truly live.

v. 5
Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior,
worthy of our highest praise.
Took our nature weak and mortal,
died our death and then was raised.
Jesus gives us peace and pardon,
raises us to endless days.

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