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 known,
for you are Lord of lords alone;
defend your holy church, that we
may sing your praise eternally.
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.
Text: Martin Luther, 1483-1546; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827-1878, alt.
The people we read about in scripture are in many ways no different from us. Throughout my life in many ways I have faced the same joys and challenges they did. We are human beings, sinners all, who by the trials of sin, death, and the power of the devil in our lives are led astray from God and into ourselves.
Our "natural" instinct is to look into ourselves or to turn to something or someone that is not our God and Redeemer. Therefore, singing this hymn, hearing its words in our ears and from our mouths, fruitfully meets a deep need in us. Singing, "Lord, keep us steadfast in your Word" is countercultural to us. Instead of asking for our will to be done, we ask for God's will to be accomplished. In this manner we are reminded of and grounded in the conviction that it is God who brings comfort, peace, and support to us, taking us from our death into Christ's life.
Gracious Lord, continue to place your Word of mercy and grace in our ears, comforting us with your promises in the midst of our trials. Continue to come to us, defend us, and lead us, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.