Fling Wide the Door (ELW 259, focus on verse 2)
1 Fling wide the door, unbar the gate;
the King of glory comes in state;
the Lord of lords and King of kings,
the Savior of the world who brings
his great salvation to the earth.
So raise a shout of holy mirth
and praise our God and Lord,
Creator, Spirit, Word.
2 He is the rock of our belief,
the heart of mercy’s gentle self.
His kingly crown is holiness;
his scepter is his loveliness;
he brings our sorrows to an end.
Now gladly praise our king and friend,
and worship him with song
for saving us from wrong.
3 Oh, happy towns and blessed lands
that live by their true king’s commands.
And blessed be the hearts he rules,
the humble places where he dwells.
He is the rightful Son of bliss
who fills our lives and makes us his,
creator of the world,
our only strength for good.
4 Come, Lord, our Savior, Jesus Christ;
our hearts are open wide in trust.
Oh, show us now your lovely grace,
upon our sorrows shine your face,
and let your Holy Spirit guide
our journey in your grace so wide.
We praise your holy name,
from age to age the same!
Text: Georg Weissel, 1590-1635; tr. Gracia Grindal, b. 1943
Text © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, admin. Augsburg Fortress.
Reprinted under OneLicense.net #A730924
Caring for a child, my own but also those of friends and family who are nice enough to let me get my baby cuddles from time to time, I’ve been struck by just how beautiful and terrifying it is to love someone so small and fragile.
As we set up the tiny manager scene in preparation for Christmas, it is hard not to feel that sense of beauty and terror. As I place the animals, shepherds, and Magi on each side of Mary and Joseph, I smile with anticipation as I bring the last two pieces to the center—a small bed of hay and the delicate baby Jesus placed tenderly in its embrace. My smile and joy is matched by a furrowed brow of concern for the halo and the hay in our savior’s bed, a foreshadowing of the crown of thorns and scepter of reed placed in his hands at the Cross.
Anticipation and recognition quickly come full circle. I step back and take in the entire nativity scene and am overwhelmed with gratitude that this King of ours returns every year in the form of a babe, “the heart of mercy’s gentle self” and our salvation.
Dear God, accept our worship of song this day as we prepare for the season of your birth and stand in awe of your gentle power and saving grace. In your holiness and loveliness we pray, Amen.