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A Hymn Of Glory Let Us Sing

Hymn 387 “Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice”

Most of those reading this magazine have, in all probability, known the blessed comfort of the Gospel from their earliest childhood. Brought up in Christian homes by godly parents, they have from their youth known the holy Scriptures, which have made them wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ (II Timothy 3:15).

But what if that were not so? 

What if your exposure to the Scriptures had been limited only to the Law (in the narrow sense), and you had not known the Gospel? In the second evening lecture of The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, Dr. C.F.W. Walther notes that “[T]he Law uncovers to man his sins, but offers him no help to get out of them and thus hurls man into despair . . . . It conjures up the terrors of hell, of death, of the wrath of God. But it has not a drop of comfort to offer the sinner. If no additional teaching, besides the Law, is applied to man, he must despair, die, and perish in his sins.”Read More »Hymn 387 “Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice”

“Lord, Who at Cana’s Wedding-Feast”

Hymn 620 is actually a prayer to Christ, offered in the context of a wedding ceremony.  When at that wedding we sing  “Thou dearer far than earthly guest,/ Vouchsafe Thy presence here” (verse 1), we are actually praying that Christ will be present at this wedding, even as He was present at the wedding in Cana, where He performed the first miracle in His public ministry.Read More »“Lord, Who at Cana’s Wedding-Feast”

Hymn 464 “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”

It was just a small Baptist church, located in a poor rural area of the country and made up of parishioners who themselves possessed very little in terms of material wealth.  The salary they were able to pay their pastor was barely adequate, often consisting partly of produce grown by the parishioners—which they gave him in lieu of cash.

The pastor had been newly married when he accepted the call to serve them seven years earlier. Then came children. Now that the pastor and his wife were the parents of a growing family, their financial difficulty was becoming more serious, and it may have seemed providential to him that he had recently received a call to be the pastor of a large and prosperous Baptist church in the city. Read More »Hymn 464 “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”

Hymn 216 “On Christ’s Ascension I Now Build”


(Fifth in a Series on The Lutheran Hymnal)

Why do we celebrate Ascension Day?

Although most Reformed churches today largely ignore the event as a calendar item, we Lutherans do not. Theologians actually have much to say about the doctrine of Christ’s bodily ascension. They use fancy Latin terms like terminus ad quem (“the end to which”), coelum beatorum (“the paradise of the redeemed”) and coelum Dei maiestaticum (“the majestic heaven of God”). The Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord addresses Christ’s ascension at length in Sections VII and VIII.Read More »Hymn 216 “On Christ’s Ascension I Now Build”

“The Lord My Pasture Shall Prepare”

Good Shepherd Theme
(Psalm 23)GoodShepherd-Jesus_Rescuing_a_Lamb_Caught_in_Thorns

Have you ever read one of those newspaper stories about the death of someone living the last decades of his life in poverty-level circumstances, who was later discovered to have had tens of thousands of dollars in cash stashed in various places around the hovel in which he had eked out his pitiable subsistence? It’s a sad irony, and we shake our heads when we hear it. However, sometimes our own behavior may mimic that irony more than we realize.Read More »“The Lord My Pasture Shall Prepare”