Originally uploaded by revjwc

Isaiah has been walking (sort of) for about a month now. But just in the past few days he has become more steady on his feet and more comfortable taking more steps. In this pictures he’s taking a few steps in the back yard.

The weather has been very nice lately and pictures like this make me things about how much fun the kids (including Isaiah this year) will be able to have this summer.

Lenten Hymns Part 2

I’ve noticed that Lenten hymns, more than those of other seasons of the year, refer to the new life of faith on the part of the Christian who has realized what great cost was spent on his behalf. Notice that all these references are at the end of the hymns. It shows that living a life to serve the Savior is always a response to the message that the Savior born the penalty for sin.

Grant that I your passion view
With repentant grieving.
Let me not bring shame to you
By unholy living.
How could I refuse to shun
Ev’ry sinful pleasure
Since for me God’s only Son
Suffered without measure? (CW 98, st. 5)

From morn till eve, in all I do,
I’ll praise you, Christ, my treasure.
To sacrifice myself for you
Shall be my aim and pleasure. (CW 100 st. 4)

What language shall I borrow
To thank you, dearest Friend,
For this, your dying sorrow,
Your pity without end?
Oh, make me yours forever,
And keep me strong and true;
Lord, let me never, never
Outlive my live for you. (CW 105, st. 5)

Your cords of love, my Savior,
Bind me to you forever;
I am no longer mine.
You you I gladly tender
All that my life can render
And all I have to you resign. (CW 113, st. 5)

I’ll think upon your mercy without ceasing,
That earth’s vain joys to me no more be pleasing;
To do your will shall be my sole endeavor
Henceforth forever. (CW 117, st. 6)

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a tribute far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all. (CW 125, st. 4)

What can I for such love divine
To you, Lord Jesus, render?
No merit has this heart of mine;
Yet while I live I’ll tender
Myself alone
And all I own
In love to serve before you.
Then when time’s past,
Take me at last;
In heav’n I shall adore you.(CW 126, st. 5)

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away—
’Tis all that I can do. (CW 129 st. 5)

Lenten Hymn Themes

This is a post that I wrote last Lent. But I thought it was worth thinking about again. I had also promised to write another post and I never got around to it. This year I’ll make sure to do that.


Christian_worship_colorThis evening I was singing to the kids before bed–just going through the hymnal singing various Lenten hymns. I was reminded of something I had noticed some time ago, but forgot about. I noticed a couple
themes that keep repeating themselves in Lutheran Lenten hymns. Both of them are unique to the Lenten season (at least among Lutheran hymns).

The first theme is the idea that our sin caused Jesus’ suffering and death. This probably sounds terribly obvious for Lent, but it needs to be said. Here are a few examples:

[The second stanza of "Jesus, I Will Ponder Now" points out that Jesus died for those who put him to death.]
Yet, O Lord, not thus not thus alone
Make me see your passion,
But its cause to me make known
And its termination.
Ah! I also and my sin
Wrought your deep affliction;
This indeed the cause has been
Of your crucifixion. (CW 98 st. 3)

Of course, the next stanza reminds us that when our sin troubles us, we remember that the cross is what disarms our fear. Some more examples:

A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth,
Our guilt and evil bearing
And laden with the sins of earth
None else the burden sharing. (CW 100 st. 1)

My burden in your passion,
Lord, you have borne for me,
For it was my transgression,
My shame, on Calvary. (CW 105 st.4)

’Tis I who should be smitten,
My doom should here be written:
Bound hand and foot in hell.
The fetters and the scourging,
the floods around you surging,
’Tis I who have deserved them well. (CW 113 st.3)

Whence come these sorrows, whence this mortal anguish?
It is my sins for which you, Lord, must languish;
Yes, all the wrath, the woe that you inherit,
This I do merit (CW 117 st.3)

Do you see what I mean? We caused it, and knowing this brings us great sorrow. But what joy to know that he did it for us. And that joy–even during Lent–always brings a response. That is the 2nd theme I noticed. I’ll write about that theme in another post.

Can you think of other hymn stanzas that make this point? Leave them in a comment.

Hymn Catch-up

I’ll try to catch up on the list of favorite hymns. For now I’m going to stick to Epiphany hymns. Maybe next year I’ll go through the list again and re-evaluate my hymns, but here they are for now:

#4 — To Jordan’s River Came Our Lord (89)
This is one of two hymns in our hymnal on the Baptism of our Lord. The other one is a Luther hymn, which may actually be a better hymn—but I’m not as familiar with it because it’s much more challenging to sing. This one was written by Professor Tiefel from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.

#5 — Hail to the Lord’s Anointed (93)

#6 — Down from the Mount of Glory (97)
I just discovered this hymn this year. I taught it to our upper grade class for hymnology. I love the reference to Jesus’ "double glory" at his transfiguration. The obvious glory is Jesus in the bright light and his changed appearance. He gives to his disciples a glimpse of the glory that is his by right but that he set aside in his humiliation. Jesus’ majesty and divinity is his glory.

But the hymn makes the point that Jesus is also in his glory when he goes "down from the mount of glory." He could have stayed up on that mountain. He could have stayed in his glory. But he didn’t. He went down the mountain and went on his way to the cross. Jesus came down from the mountain so that he could complete his mission: our salvation. He went down from the mountain in glory, but his glory was hidden in his suffering. His glory was hidden in his death.

When St. John describes the throne of God in heaven (in Revelation), the saints and angels give honor and glory to the Lamb. Why? Because he was slain, and with his blood he purchased men for God. Jesus’ greater glory is displayed by coming down the mount of transfiguration and going to Mt. Calvary.


This post is a test. I’m using a desktop application called MacJournal to write this post. I’m checking to see how it works for posting to the blog. I’ve used MacJournal for several years as a journaling program (since 2003). It used to be freeware, but it was purchased by a software developer in Minnesota. Now it’s pay-for software, but has been worth it. The last couple versions have included the feature to post to blogs directly from the software. But I’m not sure how useful that feature is.

But I just wanted to see how a post would look when I wrote it from here. So if you have no idea what I just wrote about, you can simply disregard this.

I have some catching up to do here. I’l try to do that this week if possible.


It always amazes me when people whom I am visiting in the hospital ask about my family and how I’m doing. I go to visit them because they are suffering from something significant enough to land them in a hospital bed, and they have me and my family on their mind.

To me it strikes me as an amazing demonstration of the excerise of their faith, in their hour of need to be concerned, not so much about their own needs as the needs of others.

It makes it a joy to serve them, to also remind them that that is exactly the way their Savior is.