Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word (ELW 517)
1 Lord, keep us steadfast in your Word;
Curb those who by deceit or sword
Would wrest the kingdom from your Son
And bring to naught all he has done.
2 Lord Jesus Christ, your pow’r make know,
For you are Lord of lords alone;
Defend your holy Church, that we
May sing your praise triumphantly.
3 O Comforter of priceless worth,
Send peace and unity on earth;
Support us in our final strife
And lead us out of death to life.
Simply upon reading its first line, many will recognize this hymn as being one that Martin Luther wrote. Fewer will recognize that the familiar English text was provided by Catherine Winkworth, a prolific translator of German hymn texts into English. Thanks to her, we have many beloved hymns in an English version. The ELW, for example, lists her as the translator of nineteen hymns in its collection. An internet source states that her translation of “Now Thank We All Our God” (ELW 839 and 840) appears in 546 different hymnals. She is commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for July 1.
Her role as a translator highlights the theme of this week—the humble role of being a neighbor and a follower of Jesus Christ—to honor the role of lifting up another, not only because it is the right and good thing to do, but because it is our calling in Jesus Christ.
O Lord, lead us to never wonder who our neighbor is, but keep us “steadfast” in being the neighbor in your Name. Amen.