Friday, December 10, 2004

HYMN TO ADVENT. "O How Shall I Receive Thee" is new to me (I try to discover "new" old songs and stories every Advent and Christmas), written in German by Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676) and translated into English in 1851 by Arthur Tozer Russell. There are 10 verses in German; four are listed here. I would sing this song to the woman who felt so alone at the clothing minstry on Wednesday night (see Thursday, Dec 9 posts).

O how shall I receive thee,
How greet thee, Lord, aright?
All nations long to see thee,
My Hope, my heart's delight!
O kindle, Lord most holy,
Thy lamp within my breast,
To do in spirit lowly
All that may please thee best.

Thy Zion palms are strewing,
And branches fresh and fair;
My heart, its powers renewing,
An anthem shall prepare.
My soul puts off her sadness
Thy glories to proclaim;
With all her strength and gladness
She fain would serve thy Name.

Love caused thine incarnation,
Love brought thee down to me;
Thy thirst for my salvation
Procured my liberty.
O love beyond all telling
That led thee to embrace,
In love all love excelling,
Our lost and fallen race.

Rejoice, then, ye sad-hearted,
Who sit in deepest gloom,
Who mourn o're joys departed
And tremble at your doom,
He who alone can cheer you
Is standing at your door;
He brings his pity near you,
And bids you weep no more.

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