Though I have completed a text for every Sunday in the 1-year lectionary in Lutheran Service Book, I’m looking to improve some of the texts I’ve written and even write new texts to add to ones I feel aren’t as strong as I’d like. This text is for the Third Sunday in Advent, where our Lord receives messengers from John the Baptist who ask Him, “Are you the coming One?” Jesus answers them with the message that He is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. My text also incorporates the Old Testament (“Comfort, yes, comfort my people...”) and Epistle (“...stewards of the mysteries of God”) readings. The tune I suggest for now (JEFFERSON) already has an Advent connection with the hymn “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus,” but I think that’s a good thing. (I had a few other tunes in mind as I wrote, but I try not to use copyrighted tunes or settings unless I have no other choice or unless they were written for me specifically.)
In an odd coincidence—certainly this wasn’t planned—ten years ago today, I posted my first original hymn text. I had posted parodies, and I had also posted a serious re-write of “When Peace Like a River.” But this was something new, something I didn’t adapt from someone else’s work. It was not a particularly strong text, though it wasn’t awful for a first effort. I’d written a hymn parody about a particular subject, but something challenged me to try a serious response to events. I thought it would be a one-time thing; I’m glad it wasn’t. In ten years and over 90 texts, I believe I’ve grown. I’m no Paul Gerhardt or Charles Wesley. But God has given me a love of the written and sung word (and Word!), and I write to His glory.
Anyway, here is my latest text. As always, feedback is love.
Speak, O Prophet! Speak the Message
1. Speak, O prophet! Speak the message.
Tell of Christ, the promised One.
He fulfills the holy Scriptures:
Blind men see and cripples run;
Lepers cleansed, the deaf ears opened;
Life is given to the dead.
Even now the poor in spirit
Hear Good News from Christ, the Head.
2. Listen, sinner! Hear the message
Of your Savior, Christ, the King:
He who died to win salvation,
He whose love the angels sing.
Lo, He comes to call and claim you:
Word and water make His way.
Bow in humble adoration
To receive His gifts today.
3. Trust in Christ Who speaks forgiveness,
Making all your warfare cease.
Take your comfort in your Jesus
Who alone will give you peace.
He will lead you like a shepherd,
Guiding you to living streams,
Feeding you in verdant pastures
Where His glory ever beams.
4. Hear the Word! Be not offended.
Oh, rejoice in boundless grace
Given you by faithful stewards,
Sent by Jesus in His place.
Christ has come! The wait is ended.
Worship Him on bended knees.
Find Him present as He promised
In His holy Mysteries.
(c) 2019 Alan Kornacki, Jr.
87 87 D
JEFFERSON (LSB 338)
Advent III; Office of the Ministry