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Archive for June 2nd, 2017

The world seeks to be praised
And honored by the mighty,
Yet never once reflects
That they are frail and flighty.
But what I truly prize
Above all things is He,
My Jesus, He alone,-
What is the world to me!

When we sang this hymn this Sunday past, I chuckled at the description of the “mighty” as “frail and flighty”.  I guess I chuckled is part of the hymn’s meaning: I also think the “mighty”  are just that, “mighty”, not frail and flighty.  Yet observing the political realm, the mighty do some very flighty things not in accordance with law nor sound reason. We are twittering our lives away.  When we look at celebrities as mighty as well, and well, flighty is an apt description but the applause is almost non-stop…by too many bearing the Name of Christ.  For the world crucified Him, thinking it was doing itself a favor, but the Lord turned their  evil (and ours!) around to redound for our good: salvation in the blood of Jesus.

This hymn is in both The Lutheran Hymnal and Lutheran Service Book, both prepared and published by The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod LCMS).  Back in the 70s, the LCMS invited the other two more liberal Lutheran church bodies to prepare a new worship book and in ’78, The Lutheran Book of Worship (LBW) was published.  Because of the schism in the LCMS in ’73, the LCMS backed out of co-publishing the book.  The LCMS’ plunge into progressivism and liberalism resulted in a hymnbook,the LBW,  that did not include the hymn under question and others such as, “These Are the Holy Ten Commands” by Martin Luther. Too many were trying to go with the world, and still are. Even the smallest and ‘noblest’ changes can be the drip, drip of the dam about to burst and damn.  This rapprochement is death,  and truly, the world, “Pale death it cannot banish”.   We forget the joyous declaration, “What is the World to Me!”

What is the world to me!
My Jesus is my Treasure,
My Life, my Health, my Wealth,
My Friend, my Love, my Pleasure,
My Joy, my Crown, my All,
My Bliss eternally.
Once more, then, I declare:
What is the world to me!

 

“What Is the World to Me”
by Georg M. Pfefferkorn, 1667
Translated by August Crull, 1845-1923

1. What is the world to me
With all its vaunted pleasure
When Thou, and Thou alone,
Lord Jesus, art my Treasure!
Thou only, dearest Lord,
My soul’s Delight shalt be;
Thou art my Peace, my Rest,-
What is the world to me!

2. The world is like a cloud
And like a vapor fleeting,
A shadow that declines,
Swift to its end retreating.
My Jesus doth abide,
Though all things fade and flee;
My everlasting Rock,-
What is the world to me!

3. The world seeks to be praised
And honored by the mighty,
Yet never once reflects
That they are frail and flighty.
But what I truly prize
Above all things is He,
My Jesus, He alone,-
What is the world to me!

4. The world seeks after wealth
And all that Mammon offers,
Yet never is content
Though gold should fill it coffers.
I have a higher good,
Content with it I’ll be:
My Jesus is my Wealth,-
What is the world to me!

5. The world is sorely grieved
Whenever it is slighted
Or when its hollow fame
And honor have been blighted.
Christ, Thy reproach I bear
Long as it pleaseth Thee;
I’m honored by my Lord,-
What is the world to me!

6. The world with wanton pride
Exalts its sinful pleasures
And for them foolishly
Gives up the heavenly treasures.
Let others love the world
With all its vanity;
I love the Lord, my God,-
What is the world to me!

7. The world abideth not;
Lo, like a flash ’twill vanish;
With all it gorgeous pomp
Pale death it cannot banish;
Its riches pass away,
And all its joys must flee;
But Jesus doth abide,-
What is the world to me!

8. What is the world to me!
My Jesus is my Treasure,
My Life, my Health, my Wealth,
My Friend, my Love, my Pleasure,
My Joy, my Crown, my All,
My Bliss eternally.
Once more, then, I declare:
What is the world to me!

Hymn #430
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: 1 John 2: 15-17
Author: Georg M. Pfefferkorn, 1667
Translated by: August Crull,1923, alt.
Titled: “Was frag’ ich nach der Welt”
Composer: Ahasverus Fritsch, 1679
Tune: “Was frag’ ich nach der Welt”

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