"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Hymn: Luther's Best

I was told of a Lutheran gathering where the worship leader decided for time's sake to just sing the first verse of this hymn. The pastor immediately got up and declared that they must finish the song, for Satan was still winning! Luther's greatest hymn, based on Psalm 46, is a story. It is the story. Singing it in church for the past two weeks continues to take me on an emotional roller coaster. From lowly despair, to hope, to joy. I can never by a Psalms-only Puritan because of this wonderful hymn.


1. A mighty fortress is our God,
A Bulwark never failing;
Our Helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing;
For still our ancient Foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and pow'r are great,
And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

2. Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God's own choosing;
Dost ask who that may be:
Christ Jesus it is He;
Lord Sabbaoth His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

3. And though this world with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us
We will not fear for God hath willed,
His truth to triumph through us
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him
His rage we can endure,
For lo his doom is sure
One little word shall fell him

4. That Word above all earthly pow'r,
No thanks to them abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth;
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill;
God's truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever!


Steve Martin said...

It's my favorite. We only sing it maybe once every 6 months (and we are Lutherans).

"And though this world with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us..."

The Muslims were at the gates of Viena when he wrote the hymn.

Aaron said...

One of my favorites too! This is one of those hymns that make me want to shout out "Organ Music Rocks", not as much as J.S. Bach does but still...
This hymn has at times made it into Catholic hymn books. You have to love that!