We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hymns Using “Ebenezer”

Back when we attended Lutheran Churches (LCMS) one of my favorite hymns was “Thy Strong Word,” which was sung to the tune “Ebenezer.”  Strong meat in that song, and in 1991 I decided it needed to be transcribed to the bagpipes.

In December 1995 we moved to Iowa and we never again heard that hymn, but I continued to practice it on my pipes. In 1999 we began attending a Plymouth Brethren assembly and there I heard the tune again — only with different lyrics!  The hymn is “O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus,” which is another very meaty hymn.  In the two churches we have attended since leaving that PB assembly we have continued to sing that song.

This past Saturday (18 Feb) we joined with several other couples for an evening “hymn sing,” which we’ve been doing every 6-8 weeks for about two years.  “O The Deep, Deep Love…” is one chosen almost every time, but this week it got me thinking about the other lyrics we used to sing with that tune, so I thought about writing this post showing the completely different theological point in each hymn, and yet how both are so very encouraging with their depth of teachings.

Our Lutheran hymnal has only four stanzas for “Thy Strong Word,” but when I looked on the ‘net so I wouldn’t have to type them out (cut & paste is so convenient), I discovered two more stanzas.  So here are all six:

Thy Strong Word

Thy strong word did cleave the darkness;
At thy speaking it was done.
For created light we thank thee
While thine ordered seasons run.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia without end!

Lo, on those who dwelt in darkness,
Dark as night and deep as death,
Broke the light of thy salvation,
Breathed thine own life-giving breath.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia without end!

Thy strong Word bespeaks us righteous;
Bright with thine own holiness,
Glorious now, we press toward glory,
And our lives our hopes confess.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia without end!

From the cross thy wisdom shining
Breaketh forth in conqu'ring might;
From the cross forever beameth
All thy bright redeeming light.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia without end!

Give us lips to sing thy glory,
Tongues thy mercy to proclaim,
Throats to shout the hope that fills us,
Mouths to speak thy holy name.
Alleluia! Alleluia! May the light which thou dost send
Fill our songs with alleluias, Alleluias without end!

God the Father, light-creator,
To thee laud and honor be.
To thee, Light from Light begotten,
Praise be sung eternally.
Holy Spirit, light-revealer, Glory, glory be to thee.
Mortals, angels, now and ever Praise the holy Trinity!

Now for the other hymn:

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

O the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free,
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me, Is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward To my glorious rest above.

O, the deep, deep love of Jesus—
Spread his praise from shore to shore!
How he loveth, ever loveth,
Changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, Died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, Watcheth o’er them from the throne.

O, the deep, deep love of Jesus, 
Love of every love the best;
’Tis an ocean vast of blessing,
’Tis a haven sweet of rest.
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ‘Tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, For it lifts me up to Thee!

I hope you find these hymns as wonderful as do I.  (And the tune is great!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We have been singing O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus for a few years now. I think we will add Thy Strong Word to our hymnal.
You could also sing these hymns to Come Thou Fount; Love Divine, All Loves Excelling; and Jesus I my cross have taken; and Our Great Saviour.