A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING
One of Martin Luther’s greatest contributions to Christian worship was his effort to collect and produce hymns for the congregation in their own language. He was insistent that people should become active participants in learning and proclaiming the Gospel through singing. For the Festival of Pentecost he wrote the German hymn Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott — Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord!
He based this hymn on a text and melody that was already familiar. There was a Latin antiphon (responsive prayer) in use that was spoken or sung at Pentecost. It went, “Come, Holy Spirit, fill up the hearts of your believers, and kindle in them the fire of your love: You who have gathered the nations in the unity of the faith through all the diverse languages. Alleluia, Alleluia.” Luther translated this antiphon and made it the first verse of his hymn, fitting it to a melody that was similar to the one heard in church. It is a prayer that the Holy Spirit would come and pour out His gifts in our hearts, gifts such as faith, peace, and forgiveness. Truly, without the Spirit’s work in us we could neither receive nor hold on to any of these blessings, as Paul teaches, “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:3 NIV84) Further, we do not ask the Spirit’s blessings for ourselves alone, but for people everywhere. We pray that He would work in others too, and unite them with us in the Holy Christian Church. Thou in the faith dost men unite / Of ev’ry land and ev’ry tongue; / This to Thy praise, O Lord, our God, be sung. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!Read More »WS 224, LSB 497 “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord!”