Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hymn Based on 2 Timothy 4:1-8

I wrote a hymn this morning, which is based on 2 Timothy 4:1-8:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

The hymn can be sung to Luther's familiar tune "Ein Feste Burg" or  "A Mighty Fortress is our God."  The hymn follows the shape of 2 Timothy 4:1-8, beginning as a prayer for pastors, but morphing into a prayer for ourselves (all disciples) as well:

Our Father, we for pastors pray,
please grant them faith and courage;
to boldly preach in these last days,
O may they be encouraged.
And may they heed the charge;
their hearts may You enlarge;
Christ's glory may they see,
and His authority,
for He is King forever.

Keep pastors faithful to the task,
that Christ the Lord has given.
And give the Spirit, this we ask,
that to this charge they listen.
The charge to preach the word,
about their risen Lord,
who for His people died,
and clothes His church and bride,
with power from the Spirit.
The time has come when few will hear,
the message of repentance.
For men have lost a godly fear,
from Christ they keep their distance.
But, Lord, it's You we love,
we long for You above.
Your Word, O help us keep,
and for lost sinners weep,
O hear the prayer we offer.

We praise You, Father, for our Lord,
whose love was shown in suff'ring.
Whose blood was shed and for us poured,
His death a fragrant off'ring.
May love be our reply,
to Christ our Lord who died.
And may His name we spread,
His will our daily bread,
till He returns from heaven.

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