After preaching six of the last seven Sundays, I have the next two Sundays off. I love that I get to do so much preaching, but, strangely enough, I didn't do this much preaching my previous two years as a parish pastor! I have to admit that I will welcome the short break. Anyhow, since I don't have a sermon to prepare for this Sunday, I turned my attention to a hymn idea that's been percolating in my head for a few months now. (Please don't remind me that I still haven't sent out the annual Kornacki family Advent letter!)
One of my favorite texts in the Bible is Mark 10:13-16, where Jesus rebukes His disciples for attempting to turn away children whose parents brought them to Jesus. I've preached that text a number of times, including a funeral for a baby who died the day she was born, about a week before Christmas. (I haven't been able to sing "Away in a Manger" since.) This was the perfect text for that beautiful child's funeral. It's a beautiful example of the love of Jesus for all His sheep, but especially for the little ones.
This is my attempt to put this text into meter. None of the hymnal's tunes for the 87 87 meter really seems to work with the account, but I chose the one I felt worked best. I connected the text to Holy Baptism, though not explicitly to infant baptism. Maybe I should have? Anyway, here it is. Your feedback is desired and appreciated.
Christ Said, "Bring the Little Children"
1. Christ said, "Bring the little children."
Let them come; bar not their way,
For to them belongs the kindgom.
Bring them here and let them stay.
2. All who seek the Father's kingdom
Must like children first believe.
Otherwise they never enter;
They the kingdom ne'er receive.
3. By Your grace and tender mercy,
Through Your great baptismal flood,
You have raised Your little children.
You have made them sons of God.
4. Lord, we bring to You our children.
Lay on them Your loving hand.
Hold them in Your arms and bless them.
Bring them to Your heav'nly band.
(c) Alan Kornacki, Jr.
Suggested Tune: Cross of Jesus (LSB 428)