We welcome Pastor David Blas as our guest preacher and also representing our Mission of the Month, LCMS Ministerio Hispano Condado de Sheboygan. Also, we will rejoice in gift of Holy Baptism given to Catherine Michelle Sommer, infant daughter of Ryan and Cassidy.
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 One (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.
The Wounds of Christ Give Us Life
“For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood” (1 John 5:7). These three point to Christ and flow from Christ. Jesus shows His disciples His hands side, from which blood and water flowed, saying “Peace be with you.” He presents the wounds which turn our fear to gladness and which restore us to the Father. Jesus breathes on His disciples and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:23). His breath, His words are Spirit and life. They raise up our dry, dead bones and give us new and everlasting life (Ezek 37:1–14). Christ now gives His ministers to speak His forgiving, Spirit-filled words to the penitent in His stead. Our Lord continues to come to His people, presenting His wounds to us in the Sacraments of water and blood. He bids us to touch His side at His table, to receive His risen body and blood in true faith, that believing we may have life in His name.
Collect of the Day: Almighty God, grant that we who have celebrated the Lord’s resurrection may by Your grace confess in our life and conversation that Jesus is Lord and God; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Old Testament: Ezk. 37:1-14
Epistle: 1 John 5:4-10
Holy Gospel: John 20:19-31
Although this hymn is attributed to Jean Tisserand (d. 1494), a popular French Franciscan preacher of the 17th century, it is doubtful that he was the author. The roots of the hymn text stretch back to the early 1500s, when a Latin poem was published under the title “A Joyous Chant for the Time of Easter.” That poem was translated into French sometime in the 17th century and used in liturgical settings in France. It was appointed to be sung on Easter evening.
We probably wouldn’t expect Paul Gerhardt (1607–76) to be given to excessive joviality. In fact, we might picture him not smiling much at all. His wife died after just 13 years of marriage. Only one of their five children survived. For many years, he was without a pastoral call. Today’s hymn was written during the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48), a religious conflict between Catholic and Protestant rulers. Nearly a third of Germany’s population perished in the violence and in the rioting, famine and plagues that resulted.
“Awake, My Heart, with Gladness” first appeared in publication in 1648, the year the war ended. But the war did not end in victory for the Lutheran princes. While the Peace of Westphalia did assure the survival of religious freedom, it was hardly occasion to celebrate. And yet, Gerhard’s hope and life is in Christ, not in princes or this world.
“Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain” is a Greek Resurrection hymn written by John of Damascus (c. 675-749) in the 8th century. The translation by John Mason Neale (1818-1866) first appeared in Christian Remembrance (April 1859) in an article on “Greek Hymnody” and then in Hymns of the Eastern Church(1862) in four stanzas.
The text is for St. Thomas’s Sunday, the Sunday after Easter or Low Sunday, and is based on the canticle “The Song of Moses” from Exodus 15. A clear connection can be seen in the hymn from Exodus 14 and 15 through the vivid language used.
Published anonymously in a Catholic hymnal in 1695, the hymn was translated into English by Anglican minister, Francis Pott, in 1861. An organist, William Monk, then added the Alleluias and set the words to music that had been written much earlier by Vatican choirmaster, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.
William Hart, in his book, Hymn Stories of the 20th Century, which was published in 1948 (not long after World War II had ended), adds the unusual note that a soldier’s chorus sang this hymn at the funeral of General George Patton on December 23, 1945 after his death in an automobile accident.