Prepare for The Sunday of Fatherly Mercy (07/14)

Christ’s Mercy Is Ours to Show to Others —“Be merciful, even as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:36–42). The old Adam in us wants to condemn and seek vengeance. But the Lord says, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” (Rom. 12:14–21). To condemn, to avenge yourself, is to put yourself in the place of God. It is to fail to trust that He is just. Ultimately, it is to disbelieve that Jesus suffered the full vengeance for all wrongs. Only Christ is merciful as the Father is merciful. He is the one who overcame all evil with the good of His cross, forgiving even His executioners. Jesus is our Joseph, who comforts us with words of pardon and reconciliation (Gen. 50:15–21). He is the One who does not condemn but gives life that runs over. Only through faith in Christ are we sons of the Father–being merciful, forgiving, doing good to our enemies. For in Christ we know that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:8–13).

Within the liturgy for each Lord’s day, we receive the Word of God through uniquely appointed readings, psalms, hymns, and prayers. This week we will pray the Divine Service Setting Four (audio of this liturgy). The following guide will help you to prepare to hear and sing the Propers, i.e. the varied texts and hymns for this week.

Collect of the Day: O Lord, grant that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by Your governance that Your Church may joyfully serve You in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Introit: Ps. 27:3-4a, 5; antiphon: Ps. 27:1-2
Gradual: Ps. 79:9-10a
Old Testament: Gen. 50:15-21
Psalm 138 (antiphon: v. 8b)
Epistle: Rom. 12:14-21
Proper Verse: Ps. 9:4b, 9
Gospel: Luke 6:36-42


726Evening and morningDie guldne SonneVideo

This hymn by Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676) sings the lively confession that we are protected by the creator of all things. No matter the time or circumstances his eye rests upon his own and preserves by his mercy. What can cloud this brightness? Sins. A person’s sins cause terror in the conscientious mind; only forgiveness in Christ can remove that dark blot so that it no longer stands before God as an accusation against Christians. The trials of this life can also cause doubt in the Christian. Against all the storms of this life is the promise that one is forgiven and promised a heavenly place before his face. It is fitting that our hymns should rise to the God who forgives, leads, and strengthens his saints. The tune by Johann G. Ebeling (1637-1676), kantor of Gerhardt’s church (St. Nicholas in Berlin), aids the sung confession of faith. It rightly is sung in a quick, joyous manner.

696O God, my faithful GodO Gott, du frommer GottVideo

This hymn was written by Pastor Johann Heermann (1585–1647) during a most difficult time in his life, between 1623 and 1630, when he was plagued by various bodily afflictions. It is a prayer, a genuine cry of faith from the Christian’s heart, and based on the confession of God’s promised faithfulness and goodness. As a preacher he was also concerned with speaking the truth without unneces- sarily offending the weak. We also have received from his pen the hymns “O Dearest Jesus, What Law Hast Thou Broken” (LSB 439), and “O Christ, Our True and Only Light” (LSB 839).

766Our Father, who from heaven aboveVater unserVideo

Having completed at least one hymn for each section of the catechism, Luther set out to write a versification of the Lordʼs Prayer. Unique to his paraphrase is that almost every stanza is catechetical in form: first, a literal statement of the petition; second, an explanation and application. Though Luther himself wrote a tune for the text, it was never well received. Rather, Schumannʼs 1539 hymnal uses a revised tune from the Bohemian Brethren. It is uncertain how much Luther was involved in revising the tune.

758The will of God is always bestWas mein Gott willVideo

Albrecht von Preussen was the first ruler to establish Lutheranism as the official religion of his realm. He was convinced of the Gospel by Martin Luther during a visit to Lutheranism. His hymn is a contemplation on the 3rd Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done.” We confess in Luther’s Small Catechism, “God’s will is done when He breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature…and when he strengthens and keeps us firm in His word and faith until we die. This is His good and gracious will.” Death is the ultimate question concerning God’s will. Is it God’s will that we die? We know that the wages of sin is death, but we also know that God does not desire the death of a sinner, but that he turns from his evil way and live. It was God’s will to send His Son Jesus to taste death for us everyone (Heb. 2:9). And it is this Son, who is our Brother, who raised the widow of Nain’s son. It is only through Christ that we can say, “Thy will be done,’ because He Himself fulfilled God’s will for us in His own body through death and resurrection. This hymn can only be sung with this knowledge in the back of our minds.

713From God can nothing move meVon Gott will ich nicht lassenVideo

In 1563, while Helmbold was con-rector of the Gymnasium at Erfurt, a pestilence broke out, during which about 4000 of the inhabitants died. As all who could flee from the place, Dr. Pancratius Helbich, Rector of the University (with whom Helmbold had formed a special friendship, and whose wife was the godmother of his eldest daughter), was about to do so, leaving behind him Helmbold and his family. Gloomy forebodings filled the hearts of the parting mothers. To console them and nerve them for parting Helmbold composed this hymn on Psalm lxxiii. v. 23.

843Forgive our sins as we forgiveDetroitVideo

Rosamund Eleanor Herklots was born in Masuri, India, in 1905 to missionary parents. She was educated at Leeds Girls’ High School and the University of Leeds in England. Working as a teacher and secretary, she began writing hymns in the early 1940s. She submitted hymns for the “Hymns for Britain” competition, two of which were selected to be sung on television. Her total corpus of hymns numbered more than seventy. Herklots died in Greenwich, London, in 1987.

This hymn was written in June 1966 and printed soon afterward in the parish magazine of St. Mary’s Church, Bromley, Kent. The idea of the hymn had occurred to Miss Herklots when she was digging out weeds in her nephew’s garden; she reasoned that their deep roots, obstructing the growth of the flowers near them, resembled the bitterness and resentment that can become entrenched and hinder the Christian’s growth in grace.

The Companion to Hymns and Psalms (1988)
656A mighty fortress is our GodEin feste BurgVideo