Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lenten Meditation

Lent definitely has some great hymns. 

The best hymns are the ones that sing back to God all that he has done for us.  What I think of God might mean nothing to someone else.  And while it might sound pious to sing over and over again how I love God, I praise God, I adore God, I cherish God, I worship God, etc...., another worshiper will learn about my feelings.  He will learn nothing about God.  Nor will he learn why I think so much about our Lord.  Such praise hymns end up being more about me and my thoughts.

One particularly vivid Lenten hymn is presented to you here for your contemplation.  The hymn is not posted in its entirety, but all of it deserves to be sung boisterously by God's people.  As it turns out, most verses end with a note of praise.  But we certainly know what we are praising Jesus for in most uncertain terms.

Christ, the Life of all the living,
   Christ, the Death of death our foe,
Who thyself for me once giving
   To the darkest depths of woe--
Through thy sufferings, death, and merit
   I eternal life inherit.
Thousand, thousand thanks shall be,
   Dearest Jesus, unto to thee.

Heartless scoffers did surround thee,
   Treating thee with cruel scorn,
And with piercing thorns they crowned thee,
   All disgrace thou, Lord, has borne
That as thine thou mighest own me
   And with heavenly glory crown me.
Thousand, thousand thanks shall be,
    Dearest Jesus, unto to thee.

Thou hast suffered great affliction
   And hast borne it patiently,
Even death by crucifixion,
   Fully to atone for me.
Thou didst choose to be tormented
   That my doom should be prevented.
Thousand, thousand thanks shall be,
    Dearest Jesus, unto to thee.

Then, for all that wrought my pardon,
   For thy sorrows deep and sore,
For thine anguish in the garden,
   I will thank thee evermore,
Thank thee for thy groaning, sighing,
   For thy bleeding and thy dying,
For that last triumphant cry,
   And shall praise thee, Lord, on high.
                              -- Christ, the Light of All the Living (CW 114:1,4,6,7)

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