Monday, July 15, 2013

Singing the Wondrous Story

Our Pastor gave me a hymn to sing for last Sunday's hymn of the day.  I was instantly taken by it.  It says everything a good sermon would need to say about the Gospel text of the day.  The text of the day was the parable of the Good Samaritan.  This story is far too often wielded as a moralistic club, where the Pastor beats you up for not being caring enough and showing enough compassion to random hurting strangers or enemies (as if we were capable of really doing enough good in such a needy world).

This hymn illustrates a good law/gospel exploration of the major themes of the story.  You can't sing these words and not be comforted by the reassurance of God's great compassion for us in sending Jesus.  This song is nothing other than good news.  LCMS Lutherans, let us be a church that is distinguished for our singing of songs that preach the Gospel!

The hymn text is written by a pastor in our district, Rev. John G. Fleischmann, and the title is "My Neighbor."  It is posted here with his permission.  Following is a bit more humorous take on the telling of this parable.

Unclean and battered, torn by sin
By things I do, my thoughts within,
I lie there bloodied on life's road
With death and sin my only load.

Across that road the world passed by
Turning a deaf ear to my cry,
No help they give, they could not save
And so they left me for my grave.

And, what of me, when I saw need?  
Did I my Savior's bidding heed?
Too often on the other side
I've walked away because of pride.

Sin bleeds from me and stops my breath, 
In Adam all I know is death;
My works are rage, my offerings vain,
From dust I came in dust remain.

But in my need my Savior died,
Not passing on the other side.
Rebreathed His Spirit in my dust,
Bound up my wounds, declared me just.

Now safe within His Church I'm free;
Blood, Water, Spirit plead for me,
The Ark of God, the Inn of Grace
Where I behold my Father's face.

May I in Christ my neighbor know
Binding his wounds serves Christ below.
Your love for him make plain through me,
That he may, too, your Glory see.

You loved me when I could not love,
For my sin barred me from above.
In Christ my love is now set free,
O praise and bless the Trinity.

1 comment:

  1. I love British humor. This could have been a Flying Circus skit with Eric Idle and John Cleese arguing with Graham Chapman.