We get to sing this beautiful hymn on Sunday. The tune is the same as "All Glory, Laud and Honor," so it's easy to sing. I'm posting it now so that you can enjoy it before Sunday.
"Farewell I Gladly Bid Thee"
by Valerius Herberger, 1562-1627
1. Farewell I gladly bid Thee,
False, evil world, farewell.
Thy life is vain and sinful,
With Thee I would not dwell.
I long to be in heaven,
In that untroubled sphere
Where they will be rewarded
Who served their God while here.
2. By Thy good counsel lead me,
O Son of God, my Stay;
In each perplexing trial
Help me, O Lord, I pray.
Mine hour of sorrow shorten,
Support my fainting heart,
From every cross deliver,
The crown of life impart.
3. When darkness round me gathers,
Thy name and cross, still bright,
Deep in my heart are sparkling
Like stars in blackest night.
O heart, this image cherish:
The Christ on Calvary,
How patiently He suffered
And shed His blood for me!
4. Lord, hide my soul securely
Deep in Thy wounded side;
From every danger shield me
And to Thy glory guide.
He has been truly blessed
Who reaches heaven above;
He has found perfect healing
Who rests upon Thy love.
5. Lord, write my name, I pray Thee,
Now in the Book of Life
And with all true believers
Take me where joys are rife.
There let me bloom and flourish,
Thy perfect freedom prove,
And tell, as I adore Thee,
How faithful was Thy love
This article by Pastor Andrew Preus is fantastic. It is a beautiful explanation of the practice of closed communion. Read and share!
Communion Practice: Evangelical or Legalistic, Ecumenical or Sectarian
Here's the introduction from the article:
Closed communion is evangelical and ecumenical. Open communion is legalistic and sectarian.
Closed communion is the practice of communing only those who have been instructed in the pure doctrine of the Scriptures. This doctrine is summarized in the six chief parts of Luther’s Small Catechism. Closed communion is the practice of giving the body and blood of Jesus in the bread and the wine only to those who confess this unadulterated Christian doctrine and have thereby joined themselves to the regular instruction of this pure doctrine at a congregation, which teaches this doctrine.
Luther's hymn, O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold, is based on Psalm 12. It is a powerful hymn that sadly was left out of the Lutheran Service Book. We will be singing it this Sunday and I'm posting it here so that you can prayer through it and contemplate it this week.
"O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold"
by Martin Luther, 1483-15461.
O Lord, look down from heaven, behold
And let Thy pity waken:
How few are we within Thy Fold,
Thy saints by men forsaken!
True faith seems quenched on every hand,
Men suffer not Thy Word to stand;
Dark times have us o'ertaken.
2. With fraud which they themselves invent
Thy truth they have confounded;
Their hearts are not with one consent
On Thy pure doctrine grounded.
While they parade with outward show,
They lead the people to and fro,
In error's maze astounded.
3. May God root out all heresy
And of false teachers rid us
Who proudly say: "Now, where is he
That shall our speech forbid us?
By right or might we shall prevail;
What we determine cannot fail;
We own no lord and master."
4. Therefore saith God, "I must arise,
The poor My help are needing;
To Me ascend My people's cries,
And I have heard their pleading.
For them My saving Word shall fight
And fearlessly and sharply smite,
The poor with might defending."
5. As silver tried by fire is pure
From all adulteration,
So through God's Word shall men endure
Each trial and temptation.
Its light beams brighter through the cross,
And, purified from human dross,
It shines through every nation.
6. Thy truth defend, O God, and stay
This evil generation;
And from the error of their way
Keep Thine own congregation.
The wicked everywhere abound
And would Thy little flock confound;
But Thou art our Salvation.
A place for Pastor Packer to post articles, links, and his own thoughts.