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Today’s Music – Sexagesima

Thy Word is rich in blessing The HYMN OF THE DAY, “May God Bestow On Us His Grace” (823), focuses on Our Lord’s Word, rich in blessing as the Gospel (St. Luke 8) proclaims: That which fell on good ground, those hear the Word with a noble and good heart, keep it, and bear fruit with patience, yielding a crop a hundredfold.

This hymn is Martin Luther’s (1483-1546) based on Psalm 67. Luther learned the psalms by heart praying the Divine Office in the monastery. This is evident throughout his writings. He asked colleagues to write hymns based on the psalms, and himself wrote five other Psalm hymns: Psalm 12 “O Lord, Look Down from Heaven, Behold” (The Lutheran Hymnal 260), 46 “A Mighty Fortress” (656), 124 “If God Had Not Been on Our Side” (The Lutheran Hymnal 267), 130 “From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee” (607), and 14 “Although the Fools Say With their Mouth.”

Luther invites us to sing of the power of the Word of God—Our Lord Jesus Christ— and in His Holy Scriptures. In stanza two: “Thy people’s pasture is Thy Word, Their souls to feed and nourish.” Christians are fed by Our Lord’s Word as sheep are fed in the pasture. It is proclaimed in the Divine Service and the Daily Office, studied in Bible class, Sunday School, and catechism class, and meditated upon in daily prayer.

Connecting with the Gospel, stanza three exclaims: “The land shall plenteous fruit bring forth, Thy Word is rich in blessing!” Our Lord, through His Holy Ghost, works faith through His Word, calling sinners to repentance and proclaiming the forgiveness of sins in Jesus. Working faith in the hearts of believers, they confess and spread the faith. This hymn was an attachment to a German translation of Luther’s Latin Order of Mass and Communion, published in 1524.

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