Friday, November 12, 2010

HYMN: The Son of Man Returns in Glory

Inspiration is an odd, fickle thing. I've been writing verse for over twenty years now, and these things come to me at the strangest times. I can go for months--sometimes years--without writing a single line, and then all of a sudden they just start popping out of me like popcorn from kernels and heated oil. I didn't start writing hymn texts until 2009, and out of nowhere I've become prolific.

The really amusing thing, though, is that I should start writing hymns less than five years after the new LCMS hymnal came out. I guess I worry too much. Will what I write endure? I don't know. And I don't know if it's meant too. If the process of writing these benefits nobody else but me, then so be it. This has been a blessing to my devotional life, and that's enough reason to thank God, whether anything I've written endures. So long as the Word of the Lord endures forever, it doesn't matter if mine endures beyond me. 

That won't keep me from sharing the fruits of a few hours of yesterday's labor. This is based on the Gospel for Trinity 26/Second-Last Sunday of the Church Year, which is Matthew 25:31-46

I thank You, Lord, for this gift by which You give me joy and through which You allow me to serve Your Church in yet another way.

The Son of Man Returns in Glory

1. The Son of Man returns in glory
To judge the living and the dead.
Lo, He knows every sinner's story.
He is the Christ, the Church's Head.
All will be gathered 'round His throne.
Judgment is His, and His alone.

2. On His right hand the sheep assemble,
And on His left the goats will be.
All shall be brought, and none dissemble.
The righteous Judge, the King, is He.
On that last day, to sinner's shock,
The faithful Shepherd parts the flock.

3. "Come, you beloved of My Father,"
He says to those on His right Hand,
"Take now the Kingdom for you gathered.
As His inheritors you stand;
For serving brothers in their need,
You have been serving Me, indeed."

4. Sheep know their Shepherd's voice and follow.
They cling by faith to ev'ry word,
And with their deeds the Word they hallow.
Serving by faith, they serve the Lord.
Not through their deeds--alone by faith--
The sheep are spared eternal death.

5. But for the goats, the fire awaits them.
"Depart, you cursed," the Lord will say.
"You served Me not." The Judge berates them.
Faithless, their neighbors held at bay.
No matter how they beg or plead,
Eternal death is theirs, indeed.

6. Shepherd and Judge, O King and Savior,
E'er keep me steadfast by Your grace.
Nurture my faith, and let me savor
The vision of Your glorious face.
Call me to You, that I may be
There in Your fold eternally.

(c) Alan Kornacki, Jr.
98 98 88

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