Year B – Proper 24 – I Will Sing My Maker’s Praises

The hymn, I Will Sing My Maker’s Praises, was written by Paul Ger­hardt and published in 1648. The music  (Sollt’ ich mein­em Gott nicht sing­en) was written by Jo­han Schop, 1641. Gerhardt was a writer of many devotional, evangelical hymns in the Lutheran tradition and was part of a revival of personal devotion. In later years many of the pietists disdained liturgy and the forms of worship which Luther himself retained or set in place. But Gerhardt believed that liturgy and personal devotional went together. His exemplary hymns reveal a Joyful, Scriptural, Devotional, Liturgical and Sacramental kind of piety and spirituality. In this case, he exalts the love of God which “abides for aye” – God’s great love abides forever.

I will sing my Maker’s praises and in Him most joyful be,
For in all things I see traces of His tender love to me.
Nothing else than love could move Him with such sweet and tender care
Evermore to raise and bear all who try to serve and love Him.
All things else have but their day, God’s great love abides for aye.

Yea, so dear did He esteem me that His Son he loved so well
He hath given to redeem me from the quenchless flames of hell.
O Thou Spring of boundless blessing, how could e’er my feeble mind
Of Thy depth the bottom find though my efforts were unceasing?
All things else have but their day, God’s great love abides for aye.

All that for my soul is needful He with loving care provides,
Nor of that is He unheedful which my body needs besides.
When my strength cannot avail me, when my powers can do no more,
Doth my God His strength outpour; in my need He doth not fail me.
All things else have but their day, God’s great love abides for aye.

When I sleep, He still is near me, o’er me rests His guardian eye;
And new gifts and blessings cheer me when the morning streaks the sky.
Were it not for God’s protection, had His countenance not been
Here my guide, I had not seen e’er the end of my affliction.
All things else have but their day, God’s great love abides for aye.

As a father never turneth wholly from a wayward child,
For the prodigal still yearneth, longing to be reconciled,
So my many sins and errors find a tender, pardoning God,
Chastening frailty with His rod, not, in vengeance, with His terrors.
All things else have but their day, God’s great love abides for aye.

Since, then, neither change nor coldness, in my Father’s love can be,
Lo! I lift my hands with boldness, as Thy child I come to Thee.
Grant me grace, O God, I pray Thee, that I may with all my might,
All my lifetime, day and night, love and trust Thee and obey Thee
And, when this brief life is o’er, praise and love Thee evermore.

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