Tips to share,
for human care!
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 ( ESV)
Click on the following links to find some tips.
O Morning Star, how Fair and Bright
Lutheran pastor, Philipp Nicolai wrote the text and tune of the beloved hymn, “O Morning Star, how Fair and Bright” (LSB 395) in the midst of a pandemic. A contemporary of Martin Luther, he served as a pastor in Westphalia, Germany when the plague spread with a vengeance. August 1597 was a particular devastating week when 170 deaths were recorded in his parish. By the end of 1598, he had buried 1,300 of his flock.
How did Pastor Nicolai proclaim the sweet balm of the Gospel in the midst of such a devastating reality? He wrote a series of mediations for his parishioners called Freudenspiegel (Mirror of Joy). In that collection, he penned two hymns which have become known as the King and Queen of Chorales, namely “Wake, Awake for Night is Flying” and “O Morning Star, how Fair and Bright.”
As we face a pandemic in our lifetime, the final lines of the second stanza of “O Morning Star, how Fair and Bright” reflect the circumstances of Pastor Nicolai’s life, as well as our own:
Now, though daily Earth’s deep sadness
may perplex us and distress us,
Yet with heavenly joy You bless us!
The last two stanzas of this hymn break forth into joy, a joy that can never be taken away from us as we look in joyful hope in spending eternity with Jesus!
O let the harps break forth in sound!
Our joy be all with music crowned,
Our voices gladly blending!
For Christ goes with us all the way—
Today tomorrow, every day!
His love is never ending!
Sing out! Ring out!
Tell the story!
Great is He, the King of Glory
What joy to know, when life is past,
The Lord we love is first and last,
The end and the beginning!
He will one day, oh, glorious grace
Transport us to that happy place
Beyond all tears and sinning
Come, Lord Jesus!
Crown of gladness!
We are yearning
For the day of Your returning!
With one of the greatest Lutheran hymn writers of all time, we sing and proclaim Jesus, our bright morning star who shines brilliantly in the darkness.
Dr. Jean Boehler
Cantor, Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church, The Bronx, New York
LWML Atlantic District Chairperson for Human Care