A Multitude Comes from the East and the West (LSB 510) — 1 yr
In Luke 14 Jesus explains the ones who eat bread in the kingdom of God: They are those who are poor, crippled, blind, and lame, that is (in context), those who are sinners and have no help except the Lord Jesus Christ. This lively hymn by Norwegian pastor, hymn writer, and hymnal compiler Magnus Brostrup Landstad (1802–1880) richly describes the love of God in inviting such sinners to his Supper (in time) and to the great wedding feast (in eternity). Most of those who had been invited from Israel rejected Christ. Thus, the call invited those of every land, that multitude coming from the east and the west. All the saints from all times are joined with us at the Lord’s Supper and will dine with us in heaven. All the trials, trouble, and mourning of this life will be forgotten. The plea, Have mercy on us, O Jesus, will be turned into a triumphal hymn based on the mercy Christ has had on His saints.
Lord Jesus Christ, You Have Prepared (LSB 622)
Samuel Kinner (1603–1668) was a physician in Breslau, Germany (now in Poland). Although this physician did not call the Lord’s Supper the medicine of immortality, he clearly describes it as such: his body and blood, which grant rest, comfort, and pardon for weary and sin-oppressed souls. The saints are not to trust in and empty supper (such as the Reformed teach) but in the true Supper of Christ’s Body and Blood in, with, and under bread and wine! Reason cannot understand this reality of Christ’s presence, but the Word declares it to be true. We do not “spring our minds into heaven to access Christ there,” but rather receive him where he promises to be, at his altar. Thanks be to Christ for this consoling Supper, a true and blessed comfort when living or dying.
Creator Spirit, by Whose Aid (LSB 500) — 3 yr
Rhabanus Maurus (776-856), Archbishop of Mainz, wrote Veni Creator Spiritus, Mentes, which appears in varying forms as LSB 498, 499, and this one, 500. The Holy Spirit had an active role in the creation of all things (see Genesis 1:2). The hymn prays that he would continue to refresh us, freeing us from sin, and making us living temples. He who is uncreated light and fire is the one who gives the healing message of salvation in Christ alone. This holy one now makes sinners into holy saints. All of this is by the Spirit’s gracious work, not the work of man, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8–9). Rightly do saints who have received this grace return thanks to this Paraclete (counselor/comforter) along with the Father and the Son.
This hymn is paired with the tune, All Ehr und Lob, which was the tune used by Luther for his German versification of the Gloria in excelsis.
Rev. Thomas E. Lock serves as Kantor/Assistant Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Denver, Colorado.