Monday, January 7, 2008

"O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright"

O Morning Star, how fair and bright!
You shine with God's own truth and light,
Aglow with grace and mercy!
Of Jacob's race, King David's son,
Our Lord and master, You have won
Our hearts to serve You only!
Lowly, holy,
Great and glorious, All victorious, Rich in blessing!
Rule and might o'er all possessing!

Come, heav'nly Bridegroom, Light divine,
And deep within our hearts now shine;
There light a flame undying!
In Your one body let us be
As living branches of a tree,
Your life our lives supplying.
Now, though daily
Earth's deep sadness May perplex us and distress us,
Yet with heav'nly joy You bless us.

Lord, when You look on us in love,
At once there falls from God above
A ray of purest pleasure.
Your Word and Spirit, flesh and blood
Refresh our souls with heav'nly food.
You are our dearest treasure!
Let Your mercy
Warm and cheer us! O draw near us! For You teach us
God's own love through You has reached us.

Almighty Father, in Your Son
You loved us when not yet begun
Was this old earth's foundation!
Your Son has ransomed us in love
To live in Him here and above:
This is Your great salvation.
Christ the living, To us giving Life forever,
Keeps us Yours and fails us never!

O let the harps break forth in sound!
Our joy be all with music crowned,
Our voices gladly blending!
For Christ goes with us all the way--
Today, tomorrow, ev'ry day!
His love is never ending!
Sing out! Ring out!
Jubilation! Exultation! Tell the story!
Great is He, the King of Glory!

What joy to know, when life is past,
The Lord we love is first and last,
The end and the beginning!
He will one day, oh, glorious grace,
Transport us to that happy place
Beyond all tears and sinning!
Amen! Amen!
Come, Lord Jesus! Crown of gladness! We are yearning
For the day of Your returning!

Text and Tune: Philipp Nicolai

This hymn has been a comforting one to me for quite some time. And I was reminded again Sunday when we sang this how much comfort this hymn gives us. Last week I found out a friend and coworker of mine was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I have thought a lot about my friend, and this has weighed heavy on my heart as it has for the rest of the staff, and especially for her and her family. So singing verse 2 about how earth's deep sadness perplexes us and distresses us really hit home. But that verse ends with, "Yet with heav'nly joy You bless us." With Christ there is always hope; with Christ we always have something or I should rather say Someone to cling to in our sadness. Verse 5 has always been my favorite, especially the part that says, "For Christ goes with us all the way--Today, tomorrow, ev'ry day! His love is never ending!" That right there is everything we need. We live in a fallen world and see the effects of sin all over the place. Sometimes those effects really hit us especially hard and we experience much pain and sadness, but Christ is with us--ALL THE WAY, ALWAYS. That brings such joy and peace to my heart. His love is never ending; and we have so much to look forward to when we are transported to heaven, the happy place beyond all tears and sinning. That's what we cling to in this fallen world.

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