I was doing a little music listening this morning, and went over to Cyberhymnal, and looked for one of my favorite hymns, to have a little sing along here at the computer. (And, yes, I really do that--so call me a geek. I can't help it.)
One of my all time favorite hymns is known as "The Battle Hymn of the Reformation"?????? I had forgotten that it was written by Martin Luther! Well, I still think he wrote some beautiful words, even if I don't share his views on the "earthly powers" he mentions, since I'm quite sure he aimed it straight at the Church. Oh, well. Today I think we have plenty of "earthly powers" seeking to undo us. The world is a scary place to me right now, and these words buck me up. They were also sung at my father's funeral when I was eleven. Loved them then. Love them now.
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
Here's the tune, if you don't know it. Also written by Martin Luther, by the way.