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A Hymn Of Glory Let Us Sing

“Oh, Blest the House, Whate’er Befall”

A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING

What do you think of when you hear the term Christian Education? Many CLC members might answer, “Christian day schools,” or “Immanuel Lutheran High School, College, and Seminary.” Some might think of home schools where both the content and methods of education are governed by Christian parents instead of by the secular government.
All those responses most certainly are fine examples of Christian education. But they are incomplete. Indeed, in a society in which many elements are rapidly becoming antagonistic to Christianity and Christians, those responses may in some cases not even be adequate! It would be a dangerous mistake for Christian parents to assume that their responsibility for the Christian education of their children begins and ends with the above responses. Genuine Christian education involves the entire home and family life of the child.
Christoph Carl Ludwig von Pfeil’s 1782 hymn “Oh, Blest the House, Whate’er Befall” gives a more complete view of what constitutes Christian education.Read More »“Oh, Blest the House, Whate’er Befall”

WS 782, LSB 726 “Evening and Morning”

A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING

Our lives consist of periods of work followed by periods of rest. We finish our shift or complete our daily tasks, and then we go home to get a night’s sleep. But all the while that we are sleeping, our God is awake and active. “He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:3-4) God’s providential care for His world never ceases, not even for a moment. He upholds all of creation and keeps the cycles of days and seasons running. In this way He makes the earth fruitful and provides food for all His creatures. At all hours He hears and answers the prayers of us, His children, who call to Him in the name of Jesus. He constantly observes our lives and causes all things to work together for our good.
The hymn “Evening and Morning” teaches this ongoing, never-ceasing care of God for His children. It reminds us that the good things we enjoy are the works of God. He gives “wealth, peace, and gladness, comfort in sadness.” He continues to give these and other good things all our days. He watches over us and protects us whether we are awake or asleep. “Times without number, We wake or we slumber, Your eye observes us, From danger preserves us, Shining upon us a love that is true.”Read More »WS 782, LSB 726 “Evening and Morning”

WS 791 or LSB 859 “Lord, When You Came as Welcome Guest”

If there is an institution in the world needing our prayers more than the institution of marriage, I can hardly think what it could be. Among the households of my children’s schoolmates, I often feel as if ours is in a distinct minority—a man and a woman married to each other and living in the same house along with their three children—children who have never experienced anything other than that arrangement. Satan attacks marriages every hour of every day, and without the Lord’s gracious intervention they would all fail on account of our sinful behavior.
F. Samuel Janzow (1913-2001) also felt the importance of praying on behalf of marriages when he wrote the hymn we consider this month. Janzow was a professor of English and Theology at Concordia University, Chicago (River Forest), and each poetic verse here asks the great Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, for a particular blessing on married couples.Read More »WS 791 or LSB 859 “Lord, When You Came as Welcome Guest”

The Lutheran Hymnal 51 “Now May He Who from the Dead”

A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING

Christ’s final act before He ascended into heaven was to lift up His hands and bless His assembled disciples. And it was while He was blessing them that He was parted from them and taken up into heaven (Luke 24:50-51).
This parting picture of Jesus with His hands raised in blessing is most meaningful, a perpetual reminder that He continues to bless His Church on earth and will do so until He comes again. As Victor over sin and death seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, Jesus gives the forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life to all who believe in Him.
Since God’s Word gives us this picture of Jesus with His hands raised in blessing, it is appropriate that we close our services with a benediction—a blessing. In this way we return to our daily lives assured of the Lord’s blessing, just as the disciples returned to Jerusalem with the memory of Jesus blessing them as He ascended.Read More »The Lutheran Hymnal 51 “Now May He Who from the Dead”

“Now May He Who from the Dead” The Lutheran Hymnal 51

Christ’s final act before He ascended into heaven was to lift up His hands and bless His assembled disciples. And it was while He was blessing them that He was parted from them and taken up into heaven (Luke 24:50-51).

This parting picture of Jesus with His hands raised in blessing is most meaningful, a perpetual reminder that He continues to bless His Church on earth and will do so until He comes again. As Victor over sin and death seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, Jesus gives the forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life to all who believe in Him.Read More »“Now May He Who from the Dead” The Lutheran Hymnal 51

Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain TLH 204, WS 726, LSB 487

Because of editing deadlines, I am writing this Easter piece for the Spokesman today, though Easter itself lies many weeks in the future. Looking out my office window, I see nothing but snow, the thermometer stands at -9° F, and most schools in the state are closed for the next two days. It’s the end of January, and all anyone is talking about right now is winter. Can there be an Easter hymn somewhere in all this?

One line in particular came to mind from the second verse of a very old hymn by John of Damascus. It dates from the eighth century: All the winter of our sins, / Long and dark, is flying from His light. . . .” So there it is, Easter springing from the depths of a polar vortex!Read More »Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain TLH 204, WS 726, LSB 487

WS 717 “Bright and Glorious Is the Sky”

The creation account gives surprisingly little attention to the stars. It tells us that on the fourth day God made lights and placed them in the sky, but it calls our attention mostly to the sun and the moon. The stars almost seem to be just mentioned: “He made the stars also.” Yet the stars, too, are called God’s lights “set in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth.” (Genesis 1:16-17)

The stars in God’s creation have a prominent place in this Epiphany hymn by Nicolai F. S. Grundtvig (1783-1875). The stars in the night sky make it “bright and glorious.” They make the high heavens “radiant.” When God set them in the heavens, He made them so that their rays of light incline to the earth and “beckon us to heaven above.” They lift our thoughts from earthly things to God the Maker of all things.Read More »WS 717 “Bright and Glorious Is the Sky”

“All Praise to Thee, Eternal God” – TLH 80

A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING

Have you ever noticed that “firsts” seem to have special interest for us? We remember them as being particularly notable. For example,

First humans: Adam and Eve, created on the sixth day of Creation.

First President of the United States of America elected after adoption of the Constitution: George Washington, elected February 4th, 1789.

First production gasoline-powered automobile: The Benz Patent-Motorwagon, patented by Karl Benz in 1886. It had three wheels, and was powered by a one-cylinder motor producing 2/3 horsepower.Read More »“All Praise to Thee, Eternal God” – TLH 80