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Text:  Exodus 20: 1-21

For our Wednesdays in Lent, the option in Evening Prayer is Sermon or Catechetical Instruction.  We will have catechetical instruction on the chief parts of Dr. Luther’s Small and Large Catetchisms.  We begin where Luther began:  the 10 Commandments. 

There are laws of nature and there is the moral law of God.  It is difficult to disobey, say, the law of gravity.  We can escape gravity only with a whole lot of help, as with the help of a jet or a helicopter.  We have to go out of the way to disobey the laws of nature.  Note: there really can not be disobedience of the laws of nature.   This would mean there are repercussions to such disobedience, that is, punishment and it is deserved. It would imply there is right and wrong gravity, but there is not.  In contrast to the Laws of Nature, it is quite easy to disobey the Law of God.  We tend to do that quite a bit.  For the Law of God is about right and wrong in this fallen world. There are repercussions, such as punishment, deserved, both temporal and eternal.  His Law is the only law that keeps society and culture from veering off a cliff.  His Law alone shows us our sin.  His Law alone shows us the good we can do. 

We live in an era that violently believes that man is the measure of all things and so believes in relativism. C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity in his first section on the Law of God: 

“Men have differed as regards what people you ought to be unselfish to—whether it was only your own family, or your fellow countrymen, or everyone. But they have always agreed that you ought not to put yourself first. Selfishness has never been admired. Men have differed as to whether you should have one wife or four. But they have always agreed that you must not simply have any woman you liked.”

Well, until now. Putting our self first is a cottage industry in our day and time.  In fact, putting the self first is praised.  “I did it my way”.  Having any woman, or man that you liked?  See TV, see movies.   In our days, in our zeitgeist, literally “the spirit of an age”, we are taught there is no absolute moral law as the basis of right and wrong. Right and wrong are mere human constructs brought together by human agreement.  It’s all relative.  But is it right ever to rape a woman?  If there is no absolute moral law, then the difficulty of parenting becomes impossible, but it is not as there is right and wrong.  A child needs limits, his behavior in word and deed circumscribed and so do adults!  The Law of God is summed up by God’s only begotten Son: You shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul and mind and the second is liken unto it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  We were made for God and each other, in relation to the Lord and in each other. This is clear as the nose on your face. We all do have the moral compass of the Law of God.  God’s law is even more concrete than a compass:  it was initially written on two stone tablets, hard as rock. 

Lewis’ Mere Christianity were originally radio talks on BBC during World War II, when the Nazis were trying to bomb Britain out of existence: 

“What was the sense in saying the enemy were in the wrong unless Right is a real thing which the Nazis at bottom knew as well as we did and ought to have practiced? If they had had no notion of what we mean by right, then, though we might still have had to fight them, we could no more have blamed them for that than for the color of their hair.

 “Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining “It’s not fair” before you can say Jack Robinson. A nation may say treaties do not matter, but then, next minute, they spoil their case by saying that the particular treaty they want to break was an unfair one. But if treaties do not matter, and if there is no such thing as Right and Wrong— in other words, if there is no “Law of God”—what is the difference between a fair treaty and an unfair one? 

            Now the first Table of the Law can not be legislated into civil laws of nations, when it has been, the result has been tyranny of the worse type:  see Sharia Law;  see ISIS.  The first table of the law is, though, the beating heart of the Law.   God’s first commandment is not that He is the Lord, but that you shall have no other gods before Him. The first three commandments are all about worship and what or who we worship.  Every atheist has a god he or she believes in:  reason, talent, fame, self, money.  So do Christians have those other gods, and those gods are at the whimsy of fallen flesh.  The Lord our God is not.  He is the only true God because He alone teaches honor and love, as embodied in the 10 commandments.  The second table of the Law flows from the first, and some of Second Table is the basis of civil law, such as not stealing, no murder.  The last commandment is about coveting, the inordinate loves of things, people and devils above the Lord.  No earthly government can legislate the mind nor the heart nor the soul.  It has been tried and the result is tyranny of the worse sort.  

With the last commandment we are back at the first.  As it is written, covetousness is idolatry. The Law shows us that sin is one vicious circle. We cannot get out of that vicious circle on our own by any stretch.  This is reason Luther begins the Catechisms with the Law:  so we know the absolute Law of God which we can not fulfill in a thousand life times. “It was a false, misleading dream that God his Law had given that sinners could themselves redeem and by their works gain heaven. The Law is but a mirror bright to bring the inbred sin to light that lurks within our nature”  It was for this world Christ died. Into this vicious circle, came the Christ.   In this zeitgeist, we tend to be soft in the head with hardness of heart. 

Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? (Jeremiah 23: 29) It breaks the stony ground of the heart. His Hammer is the Law.  Into this hardhearted world came Jesus Christ.  Here is the beating heart of the Law, perfect love.  The only One who has perfectly kept the Law fulfilled the Law.  Harder than even the rock of the law is the rock of our salvation:  Jesus Christ.  When the Law shows you your sin, don’t look to the Law for help, it offers none.  When the Law shows you your sin, look to Jesus Christ, the beating heart of God and every word and deed of Christ, finally and fully Good Friday, who did for all the world atone.  He is our mediator.

 “Outside Jerusalem, there is a hill of yellow, naked stone, ugly and hard as a dead man’s skull. Long ago men bored a socket in this rocky hill and planted a cross there, and on that cross they hanged the only one of our race who was righteous and had perfectly fulfilled the law. God permitted this to happen because, although he had tolerated sin in former ages, he wanted once and for all to show that he was righteous and that sin is followed by condemnation and punishment, and that he will not countenance any tampering with his standards of holiness. But so wonderful is God that he let all the curse and penalty of sin fall upon the Innocent One, who freely gave of himself in death for us. He was made a curse for our sakes. Thus he redeemed us from the condemnation of the law. He was made sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. He bore our sins in his own body on the tree, and by his stripes we are healed.”(The Hammer of God, novel by Bp. Bo Giertz)

We have heard what is the Lord’s will and  next week, we look again at the second chief part of the Catechism, the Apostles’ Creed, by  which we confess the faith in the Lord so that we may gladly hear His Word and do it, as He has done all for us in creating, redeeming and sanctifying us.

Meme of the Day

Meme of the Day

Islamic State in Syria abducts at least 150 Christians

Most of the symbols of the 12 Apostles include a depiction of the instrument of their martyrdom. For Matthias it may have been an ax.

Lessons:  Isaiah 66: 1-2  Psalm 134  Acts of the Apostles 1: 15-26   St. Matthew 11:  25-30

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, You chose Your servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve. Grant that Your Church, ever preserved from false teachers, may be taught and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

St. Matthias, Apostle

St. Matthias is one of the lesser-known apostles. According to the Early Church Fathers, Matthias was one of the seventy-two sent out by Jesus in Luke 10:1-20. After the ascension, Matthias was chosen by lot to fill the vacancy in the Twelve resulting from the death of Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:16-25). Early Church tradition places Matthias in a number of locations. Some historians suggest that he went to Ethiopia; others place him in Armenia, the first nation to adopt Christianity as a national religion. Martyred for his faith, Matthias may well have met his death at Colchis in Asia Minor, around AD 50. The Church of St. Matthias at Trier, Germany, claims the honor of being the final burial site for Matthias, the only one of the Twelve to be buried in Europe north of the Alps.

Reflection: From Luther’s Lectures on Galatians (see Galatians 1:  11-12), volume 27,Luther’s Works:

. . . Christ wanted no one to be made an apostle by men or the will of men but as the result of a call from Him alone. For this reason the apostles did not dare elect Matthias; they gained his appointment from heaven in answer to their prayer. And it was from heaven that God called Paul himself and made him an apostle, in particular through the voice of the Holy Spirit. “Set apart for Me,” He says, “Paul and Barnabas for the work to which I have called them.” Thus Paul boasts in Rom. 1: , that he was set apart for the Gospel of God,  inasmuch as he himself, together with Barnabas, was set apart for the uncircumcised and the Gentiles, while the rest of the apostles were sent to those who were circumcised.

Note also that Paul makes the name “apostle” so emphatically expressive of an office and of dignity that he uses it as a participle and says “an apostle, not from men,” which means “sent, not from men”. . . . All these facts aim to make you see with what care Christ has established and fortified His church, lest anyone rashly presume to teach without being sent by Him or by those whom He has sent. For just as the Word of Cod is the church’s first and greatest benefit, so, on the other hand, there is no greater harm by which the church is destroyed than the word of man and the traditions of this world. God alone is true, and every man a liar. Finally, just as David once left behind all the means by which Solomon was to build the temple, so Christ has left behind the Gospel and other writings, in order that the church might be built by means of them, not by human decrees.(emphasis my own)

The building materials chosen will show for themselves on the Day if they were the Lord’s building materials or not (1 Corinthians 3:11-13.  The Gospel and other writings, that is the entirety of the Scripture, along with the Sacraments and from Word and Sacraments, preaching, teaching, praying, doing good works builds up the Church.  Through it all, it is finally and fully the Lord Who builds His Church (“I will build My Church”, see  St. Matthew 16:18).  

The apostle Matthias was a key building block in the Lord’s Church  (see 1 Peter 2:5, Ephesians 2:19-21). We do not know much about him.  This reminds me of The Tomb to the Unknown Soldier and the saying on it:  “Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier known but to God”.  “Here rests in honored glory a saint known but to God”.  I hear on TV someone saying of someone who died, “I’ll remember him always”…as long as the “always” is that person’s life span. We can not remember “always”, that is forever.  The Lord remembers His saints, by name as He baptized them in His Name.  You and I won’t be remembered always on this earth and in this world.  We will all be unknown saints, yet built into the Lord’s Church, which He promised the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, when built with God’s Word, and not by human decrees building the church in their own image.  When parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends told you about Jesus, said as God said there is right and wrong, who forgave you in Christ as they were forgiven, you were being built up in the template of His Church, His temple, His Body. Except his name,we only know the name of Matthias and that he was chosen to replace Judas amongst the apostles.  For Matthias, your ancestors in the faith of the Church, like Matthias were called by the Lord in His death and resurrection, awaiting our Easter day.  Come, Lord Jesus. 

About Polycarp:   Polycarp was a central figure in the early church. A disciple of the evangelist John, he linked the first generation of believers to later Christians. After serving for many years as bishop of Smyrna, Polycarp was arrested, tried, and executed for his faith on February 23, c. 156. An eyewitness narrative of his death, The Martyrdom of Polycarp, continues to encourage believers in times of persecution.

Polycarp’s martyrdom on this date around AD 156 deeply impressed the nascent Church and can not be glossed over, especially in our day and time.  The icon on the header of this blog is a new icon.  It was commissioned by the Coptic Orthodox Church.  It is of the 21 Coptic Christians martyred in Libya.

Polycarp was a link between the time of the Apostles and post-apostolic era.  He was martyred when he was 86 years of age by being burned,and when the flames did not hurt him, he was stabbed in the heart.  Eyewitness accounts said the smell was of baking bread.  His name means, “much fruit”.  More about Polycarp, Pr. Weedon’s discussion on Polycarp, on confessional Lutheran radio, Issues, Etc. 

Below is a selection from The Martyrdom of Polycarp.  Please note that the first Christians were accused of “atheism” because they would not sacrifice to the false god of Caesar, and so they were considered as not believing and thus imperiling the ‘divine’ order of the Empire and the Emperor.

“…the police captain, Herod, and his father, Nicetes, met (Polycarp); they transferred him to their carriage and sitting down beside him tried to persuade him, saying: “Why, what is wrong with saying, ‘Caesar is Lord,’ and sacrificing, and so forth, and thus being saved?” At first he did not answer them, but when they persisted, he said: “I am not going to do what you advise me.”  Since they had failed to persuade him, they uttered threats and hurriedly pulled him off so that as he was descending from the carriage he scraped his shin. And without turning around, he walked along briskly as though he had suffered no injury. As he was led into the stadium with the uproar so great that it [the announcement of Polycarp’s apprehension] was not heard by many….

Now a voice from heaven came to Polycarp as he was entering the stadium: “Be strong, Polycarp, and play the man!” (Josh. 1:6,7,9.) No one saw the speaker, but many of ours heard the voice. And then as he was brought forward, there was a great uproar now that they heard that Polycarp had been apprehended. So when he was brought forward the proconsul asked him whether he was Polycarp; and when he admitted it, he tried to persuade him to deny, saying: “Respect your age” and all the other things they usually say: “Swear by the Genius of Caesar, change your mind, say, ‘Away with the atheists.’ ” Polycarp looked sternly at the whole crowd of lawless heathen in the stadium, indicating them with a wave of the hand, groaned and looked up to heaven, and said: “Away with the atheists!” When the proconsul persevered and said: “Take the oath and I will let you go; revile Christ,” Polycarp replied: “I have served him eighty-six years and in no way has he dealt unjustly with me; so how can I blaspheme my king who saved me?”

Since he persisted and said: “Swear by Caesar’s Genius,” he answered: “If you vainly expect that I will swear by Caesar’s Genius, as you suggest, and pretend to be ignorant who I am, listen (to what I say) openly: I am a Christian. If you want to learn the teaching of Christianity, name the day and hear (about it).”  The proconsul said: “Persuade the people.” Polycarp replied: “To you indeed I have considered myself accountable; for we have been taught to render fit honor to rulers and authorities appointed by God in so far as it is not injurious to us [cf. Rom. 13:1,7;1 Pet. 2:13ff]; as for these, I do not consider myself bound to make my defense before them.”

Comment:  Note that what the Christians were asked to do, burn a little incense to Caesar and swear by him is really a ‘small thing’, as it was pitched toward the Church.  As the proconsul said, what is wrong with saying, Caesar is Lord?  Indeed!  It might seem such a small thing to “go with the flow”, do what others are doing which seems so much fun and the like.  But it’s not a ‘small thing’ and Polycarp knew what it meant:  denying Jesus Christ who saved him.

One of Polycarp’s letters is extant.  He was not a creative theologian.  He quoted the Bible. No, he was not creative. He was a loyal disci­ple of Christ and the apostles.  I took a course in seminary, “Creative Ministry”.   We make ministry ‘creative’?  No, the Lord does.  He re-creates us through His Ministry of Word and Sacraments through His called pastors and bishops.  Polycarp was not creative:   he was faithful.  He was a faithful servant of Jesus.  Satis est.  That is enough and Christ will fill us by His grace for us sinners.

The beginning of Polycarp’s Epistle to the Philippians:

Polycarp, and the presbyters with him, to the Church of God sojourning at Philippi: Mercy to you, and peace from God Almighty, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, be multiplied.

I have greatly rejoiced with you in our Lord Jesus Christ, because ye have followed the example of true love [as displayed by God], and have accompanied, as became you, those who were bound in chains, the fitting ornaments of saints, and which are indeed the diadems of the true elect of God and our Lord; and because the strong root of your faith, spoken of in days long gone by, endureth even until now, and bringeth forth fruit to our Lord Jesus Christ, who for our sins suffered even unto death, [but] “whom God raised froth the dead, having loosed the bands of the grave.” “In whom, though now ye see Him not, ye believe, and believing, rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; ” into which joy many desire to enter, knowing that “by grace ye are saved, not of works,” but by the will of God through Jesus Christ.

Let us pray:  O God, the maker of heaven and earth, who gave to Your venerable servant, the holy and gentle Polycarp, boldness to confess Jesus Christ as King and Savior, and steadfastness to die for the Faith, give us grace, following his example, to share the cup of Christ and rise to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Note: Due to a snowstorm, we did not have Bible Class and the Divine Service this morning-Pr.Schroeder  The Lord bless you in His Word!

The Old Testament Reading: Genesis 22:1–18

Psalmody: Psalm 25: 1—10  

The Epistle Reading: James 1:12–18 

O Lord God,  You led Your ancient people through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land.  Guide the people of Your Church that following our Savior we may walk through the wilderness of this world toward the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. ♫ Amen

 

Sermon Text:  the appointed Gospel, Mark 1:9-15  English Standard Version (ESV)

The Baptism of Jesus

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

The Temptation of Jesus

12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

Jesus Begins His Ministry

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

 

 

In quick succession, in today’s Gospel our Lord is baptized.  Then “immediately”, He’s tempted.  Next He’s preaching.  There are three sections, first:

1. The Promise

This is the beloved Son of the Father, not beloved sons, but this One, the only begotten Son of the Father.  Heaven is torn open above Him so we have sight of our home, the new heavens and the new earth.  The Greek word for “torn open” is the basis of our word “schism”.  A ripping apart.  The next time the evangelist uses this word is when the Lord dies:  And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.   Mark alone uses this word, schism for the rending of the heavens and the temple curtain.  

 

“In Jesus’ Baptism, the wall of separation is violently ripped open. Jesus is baptized unto the death. The tearing open of the heavens is an expression of God’s desire to be at one with humanity, with you and I, as well as a vivid picture of the price that would have to be paid. Mark would have us know our Lord’s entire ministry is a passion story, whereby he tears open the curtain of separation between God and man, and ensuring an everlasting Yom Kippur, that is, a Day of Atonement.” (Dr. Peter Scaer)

 Again, the passion of our Lord did not commence publicly in Jerusalem on Good Friday, His passion for our salvation continued in earnest in the desert with Satan.  Matthew and Luke tell us 3 significant temptations of Jesus but He was being tempted for 40 days and nights, the whole tempted. He was tempted in every way we are,  yet without sin so that with the heavens opened, we pray and He helps us in His mercy  and grace in all our need (Hebrews 4:14-16)  He does battle so we can fight the good fight of faith. 

2.  The Peril

Mark’s narrative of the temptation is rather terse.  Satan has Jesus by Himself. Satan’s strategy is simple getting people by themselves.  The serpent, the snake in the grass, did this with Eve.  He got her alone, or so she may have thought.  Would Eve trust the Lord at His Word when she could not fully understand His Word about the tree of the knowledge of God and evil?  Would Abraham trust the Lord in His Word to take his son his only Son, Isaac, “Laughter”, the child of the promise and sacrifice him on the Mountain of Moriah?  Will we trust the Lord who did not spare His Son (Romans 8: 31), His only Son (John 3: 16), will He not give us all things? The heavens were ripped apart, and the Temple curtain, in Christ Jesus so we are not torn away from the Lord.

 

The Holy Spirit cast Him into the desert.  This was part of the Lord’s plan.  Jesus is baptized.  He goes to do battle, alone.  Why?

 

And since he did everything in order to teach us, and suffered everything for the same reason, so here also He willed to be led by the Spirit into the desert, to meet the devil in combat, and so that no one should be shocked if, after receiving baptism, he suffers even severer temptations: as though something strange had happened; but that he may learn to stand firm and endure with fortitude what happens according to the ordinary rule of our life.This is the reason you received arms; not to stand at ease, but to fight  (Sermon by St. John Chrysostom, on the Temptation narrative in Matthew 4: 1ff0

 

We walk in danger all the way. Satan uses the best to tempt us to the worst:  to tear us away from the Lord.   We live in perilous times.  The church has for centuries in her long pilgrimage.  Many have sold out to their times to compromise the Word of God to make it acceptable.  We will be tempted.  According to the Lord’s plan, He was sent to be tempted as we are. As St. John Chrysostom preached, He did so to teach us and this what we learn from our Lord’s temptations that He had to undergo:

 

First:  we can not rely on our own strength, power and spirituality to ward off the evil one, and his temptation. Jesus, in the flesh, relied on His Father.  He relied on prayer.

Second:  we can be strengthen for our daily lives, that is our faith is made steadfast.

Third:  we can tell others who are also tempted by our own example and the ways in which the Lord has led us through, as He was led through those long 40 days and nights in the wilderness. 

Fourth:  Satan wants to tempt in such a way to subtly suggest that there is no forgiveness for you from the Lord, that the Lord does not love you.  This is the devil’s worse of his god damned lies.  This is so we are taught His love for us even while we were sinners, Christ died for us. We are given the dignity that only God can give:  He created us and when the image of God in man is cracked, He came to die for us.  He did this for no angel, but you and I (Hebrews 2:16) The devil cannot fathom his Enemy’s love. 

Fifth:  As Chrysostom preached, the devil wants to get us alone.  We do not jump into temptation, but we pray, Lead us not into temptation…but when we are there, and we will be, then we pray, “…but deliver us from the evil one”.  The devil is prowling lion seeking someone to devour, apart from the Church. The Evangelist Mark alone tells us that Jesus was with the wild beasts.  This verse is hard to understand. It could mean a foretaste of the prophecy from Isaiah that the lion will lie down with lamb.  It could mean he strove with the wild beasts.    This was perilous.  We all strive with the wild beasts, untamed, the Old Adam. Finding us alone and apart is still the enemy’s strategy:  our selves, whole families, nations and church bodies.   When alone and tempted seek the fellowship and communion of the Church, the flock of Christ’s own redeeming, steadfast together in the Word.

 

Angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven serve Him, and the lion of Judah lying down with the lamb fights for us with weapons of the Spirit.  13No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10.  This is the reason you received arms; not to stand at ease, but to fight and He fights by our side with weapons of the Spirit.   And the chief  weapon of the full armor of God is the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit. From Promise to Peril to:

3. The Proclamation: 

God’s reign is our Good News, the Word going forth to do battle wresting His people from sin, death and the power of the devil.  It is the Lord’s Word of the reign of God, repent and believe the Good News.  This is why Jesus came out (Mark 1:  )  The Gospel of God is our redemption now sealed with His blood, the new testament in His blood.  We so need the Gospel of God of His grace, mercy and peace for us all in our trials.  This is the very Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit. In the temptation that Jesus use His almighty power to change a rock  into a loaf of bread for Himself, He kept the fast as Adam did not.  The Lord, true God and true man, knew his mortality of the flesh needed more than bread, but “every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (St. Matthew 4 ).  All of the Bible, the Word taught, preached and prayed, see the Psalms and pray them!   His Word is our daily bread. as much as the body needs daily sustenance, so does the soul with the body. 

“If anyone therefore does not eat of the Word of God, the same shall not live; for as the human body cannot live without earthly bread, so the soul cannot live without the Word of God. A word is said to proceed from the mouth of God when He makes His Will known through the Sacred Scripture.” (St. John Chrysostom)

 His Word, His Will is  encapsulated in the Lord’s Word of Institution FOR YOU. 

 From Martin Luther’s Explanation of the Lord’s Supper:

For here stand the kind and precious words: This is My body, given for you. This is My blood, shed for you, for the remission of sins. These words, I have said, are not preached to wood and stone, but to me and you; else He might just as well be silent and not institute a Sacrament. Therefore consider, and put yourself into this You, that He may not speak to you in vain.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philiippians 4: 7)

“A Mighty Fortress is Our God”
by Dr. Martin Luther, 1483-1546
Composite Translation from the Pennsylvania Lutheran CHURCH BOOK of 1868

1. A mighty Fortress is our God,
A trusty Shield and Weapon;
He helps us free from every need
That hath us now o’ertaken.
The old evil Foe
Now means deadly woe;
Deep guile and great might
Are his dread arms in fight;
On Earth is not his equal.

2. With might of ours can naught be done,
Soon were our loss effected;
But for us fights the Valiant One,
Whom God Himself elected.
Ask ye, Who is this?
Jesus Christ it is.
Of Sabaoth Lord,
And there’s none other God;
He holds the field forever.

3. Though devils all the world should fill,
All eager to devour us.
We tremble not, we fear no ill,
They shall not overpower us.
This world’s prince may still
Scowl fierce as he will,
He can harm us none,
He’s judged; the deed is done;
One little word can fell him.

4. The Word they still shall let remain
Nor any thanks have for it;
He’s by our side upon the plain
With His good gifts and Spirit.
And take they our life,
Goods, fame, child and wife,
Let these all be gone,
They yet have nothing won;
The Kingdom our remaineth.

Hymn #262
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Psalm 46
Author: Martin Luther, 1529
Town: Wittenberg, 1529

 

 

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