Hail to the Lord’s Anointed (ELW 311)
1 Hail to the Lord’s anointed, great David’s greater Son!
Hail, in the time appointed, your reign on earth begun!
You come to break oppression, to set the captive free,
To take away transgressions and rule in equity.
2 You come with rescue speedy to those who suffer wrong,
To help the poor and needy, and bid the weak be strong;
To give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying, are precious in your sight.
3 You shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth;
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers, spring in your path to birth.
Before you on the mountains shall peace, the herald, go;
And righteousness in fountains from hill to valley flow.
4 Kings shall fall down before you, and gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore you, your praise all people sing.
To you shall prayer unceasing and daily vows ascend;
Your kingdom still increasing, a kingdom without end.
When God speaks, we know God’s heart.
James Montgomery (1771—1854), the son of Moravian parents who died on a West Indies mission field while he was in boarding school, inherited a strong religious bent, a passion for missions, and an independent mind. Montgomery wrote this hymn in 1821 based on Psalm 72, a coronation psalm that calls on God to guide the king so all people will know peace and justice and be delivered from needs and oppression. His passion for mission envisioned a world in which people in all nations would adore and praise God.
We who follow Jesus know Jesus as God’s anointed, as announced in Jesus’ baptism which the church celebrates today. We hail Jesus as did Montgomery: “You come to break oppression, to set the captive free, to take away transgression and rule in equity. You come with rescue speedy to those who suffer wrong, to help the poor and needy, and bid the weak be strong.”
Jesus, God’s anointed, our reconciler, we praise you that your reign of love and justice and mercy has begun. Increase your reign in all the world which you so love, so that all may dwell together in peace and harmony. Amen.