Monday, May 25, 2020

HYMN: I Have Been Called to Serve, O God My King

Sometimes when I’m working on one hymn text, another text jumps the line and demands to be written. I’ve been working on a text for the Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany for about a month now. I finally made some progress this weekend, but a power outage Saturday night slowed me down. And then, today, as I was hoping to finish the first draft of that text, another text idea demanded attention. So I started writing the new text, and, despite changing the meter of the text in the middle of the writing process, I had a first draft in the space of an hour.

This text started out as a text for those serving in the Armed Forces, and it still applies. However, as I wrote, I realized it was also appropriate for those serving in the Office of the Holy Ministry as they wage spiritual warfare. I’d be interested in hearing how you might strengthen it for one or the other...or both.

I’d appreciate your feedback. Also, if you are a composer, I would appreciate your thoughts toward an original tune. We have good tunes for the 10 10 10 10 meter, but I’ve already used those for other texts. Anyway, here it is.

I Have Been Called to Serve, O God My King

1. I have been called to serve, O God my King,
To take up arms, to serve as You command.
Blessed be the Lord my Strength—Your praise I sing!
For warfare you have trained my feeble hand.

2. I have no weapon greater than Your Word,
No shield but faith to give me sure defense.
Belted with truth, to combat I am stirred,
Prepared to serve my Lord with confidence.

3. The fight is ever fierce, the battle long.
My foes, like lions, seek me as their prey.
Grant me the courage, Savior; make me strong,
That, faithful, I may rise to face the fray.

4. As my dear brothers come to heed the call,
Help me to give them strength to stand and fight.
When, as the battle comes, I see them fall,
Then give me words to comfort them aright.

5. If it should be, according to Your will,
My lot at last my very life to give,
Then let me serve once more. All fear be still!
And let me rest in hope as I did live.

6. Into Your hands my spirit I commend,
O holy Father and most gracious Son,
Whom, with the Holy Spirit, heav’nly Friend,
Be endless songs of praise while ages run.

© 2020 Alan Kornacki, Jr.
10 10 10 10
TEMPORARY TUNE: LSB 917 or LSB 637 (I had thought of 946, but it's under copyright.)
Occasion: The Armed Forces, the Office of the Holy Ministry


John said...

This is really good! My vote for a tune is FARLEY CASTLE (LSB 631).

Rev. Alan Kornacki, Jr. said...

John, I love Farley Castle, but I’ve already used it for my text “Lord Jesus Christ, Your Love Has Covered Sin.” I try not to repeat, though I know I have. Here’s that text: