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.
Lord Jesus Christ, your pow'r make known,
for you are Lord of lords alone;
defend your holy church, that we
may sing your praise eternally.
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.
I serve in a congregation of one of the ELCA's ecumenical partners, the United Church of Christ. It's been a great experience. I love my congregation. They are quirky, hilarious and open to trying new things. The only downside is that I miss our sung Lutheran liturgy and their songs are not my songs. Coming out of different pieties and faith traditions, my songs are not their songs either. When I first started serving this congregation I would pick a hymn that I was sure would be familiar and the congregation would never have heard it before. And sometimes their favorite "heart-songs" are songs I don't know at all.
I am so grateful for the singing that goes on in Lutheran congregations--and I miss it. Tomorrow, as you sing with the gathered body, please take a moment to listen and offer a prayer of thanks for our rich liturgical tradition and the theology and heritage of our hymnody.