Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Hymn on the Incarnation

As much as I rail against Contemporary Christian Music in worship, the responsible thing is to offer viable alternatives.  To that end I offer you—ta da!—hymns written recently.  Actually, hymn-writing never has gone out of practice, just out of vogue.  The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada was established to promote and assist in the effort of writing new hymns.  As part of membership, they publish a quarterly journal entitled The Hymn.  I joined the society for a year or two, and though their effort is laudable, the theological and doctrinal content of the published writings primarily contained themes of inclusiveness and a generic love of God and man.

All is not lost, however.  For instance, Mark Preus, a pastor in Wyoming, actively puts pen to paper (or keystrokes to digital device).  Just recently on his blog, he offered a hymn on the incarnation in Long Metre.  I pass it along here for your edification:

1  Let praise spring from our hearts today;
Our God has put His wrath away –
The fullness of the deity
Now dwells in Jesus bodily.

2  If God had hatred in His heart,
Why would He then Himself impart?
If God did not desire our good,
Why does He now wear flesh and blood?

 3  Though I of glory fall too short,
Yet here God’s glory shows his heart,
Since how can heaven’s mercy cease
While heaven sings to earth of peace?

4  If God were now my enemy,
Why does He condescend to me?
For us and our salvation Christ
Comes down here to be sacrificed.

5  Can my Creator not love me,
When He a creature deigns to be?
The Lord of Glory enters in
Beneath the Law to bear our sin.

6  Here Mary finds her Savior born,
And man from his despair is torn,
As God unites with man’s distress
Beneath the curse the cursed to bless.

7  What is there in your heart so grey,
That Jesus doesn’t take away
By joining all He is to you,
And making his creation new?

8  Humanity now enters God,
As God now tents in flesh and blood,
And our poor nature Jesus lifts
Above the heavens with his gifts.

9  Come, feast today on God made flesh!
This food shall cleanse you pure and fresh,
And keep you steadfast till the day
When all your sins are purged away.

10  For this our hearts their praise will voice,
And in our Lord and God rejoice,
And join the angel choir to sing
Sweet Alleluias to our King!

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