Archive for the ‘Desperation and Suffering’ Category

What Sweet of Life Endureth   4 comments


Above:  The Entombment of Christ

Image in the Public Domain

Original Greek Text (700s) by St. John of Damascus

English Translation John Athelstan Laurie Riley (1858-1945)

Hymn Source = The English Hymnal (1906), The Church of England


What sweet of life endureth

Unmixed with Bitter Pain?

‘Midst earthly change and chances

What glory doth remain?


All is a feeble shadow,

A dream that will not stay;

Death cometh in a moment,

And taketh all away.


O Christ, a light transcendent

Shines in thy countenance,

And none can tell the sweetness,

The beauty of thy glance.


In this may thy poor servant

His joy eternal find;

Thou calledst him, O rest him,

Thou Lover of mankind!

Lord, On Earth I Dwell Sad-Hearted   2 comments

A King's Burden

Above:  A King’s Burden

Image in the Public Domain

Original German Text (1700) by Caspar Neumann (1648-1715)

English Translation (1863) by Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)

Hymn Source = Evangelical Lutheran Worship (1908), Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States (1818-1930)


Lord, on earth I dwell sad-hearted,

Here I oft must mourn and sigh:

Wherefore hast Thou then departed,

Why didst Thou ascend on high?

Take me, take me hence with Thee,

Or abide, Lord, still with me;

Let Thy love and gifts be left,

That I be not all bereft.


Leave Thy heart still inly near me,

Take mine hence where Thou art gone;

Open heav’n to me, and hear me,

When to Thee I cry alone;

When I cannot pray, O plead

With the Father in my stead;

Seated now at God’s right hand,

Help us here, Thy faithful hand.


Worldly joys I cast behind me,

Let me choose the better part,

And though mortal chains yet bind me,

Heav’nward tend my thoughts and heart;

That my time through faith may be

Ordered for eternity;

Till we rise, all perils o’er,

Whither Thou hast gone before.


Then return, the promise keeping,

That was made to us of old;

Raise the members that are sleeping,

Gnaw’d of death, beneath the mould;

Judge the evil world that deems

Thy sure words but empty dreams;

And for all our sorrows past

Let us know Thy joy at last.


When In the Hour of Utmost Need   2 comments



Above:  Christ the Merciful

Image in the Public Domain

German Text (1547?) by Paul Eber (1511-1569)

English Translation by Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878) in Lyra Germanica:  The Christian Life (1858)


1.  When in the hour of utmost need

We know not where to look for aid,

When days and nights of anxious thought

Nor help nor counsel yet have brought:

2.  Then this our comfort is alone,

That we may meet before Thy throne,

And cry, O faithful God, to Thee

For rescue from our misery:

3.  To Thee may raise our hearts and eyes,

Repenting sore with bitter sighs,

And seek Thy pardon for our sin,

And respite from our griefs within:

4.  For Thou hast promised graciously

To hear all those who cry to Thee,

Through Him whose Name alone is great,

Our Saviour and our Advocate.

5.  And thus we come, O God, to-day,

And all our woes before Thee lay,

For tried, forsaken, lo! we stand,

Perils and foes on every hand.

6.  Ah, hide not for our sins Thy face,

Absolve us through Thy boundless grace,

Be with us in our anguish still,

Free us at last from evil ill.

7.  That so with all our hearts we may

Once more our glad thanksgivings pay,

And walk obedient to Thy word,

And now and ever praise the Lord.

Now Lay We Calmly in the Grave   3 comments


Above:  A Cemetery, Between 1904 and 1920

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a28669

Original Czech Text (1519) by Luke of Prague (1458-1528)

German Translation (1531) by Michael Weisse (1480-1534)

English Translation (1858) by Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)

Hymn Source = Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923), Moravian Church in America


1.  Now lay we calmly in the grave

This form, whereof no doubt we have

That it shall rise again that day

In glorious triumph o’er decay.

2.  His soul is living now in God,

Whose grace His pardon hath bestowed,

Who through His Son redeemed him here

From bondage unto sin and fear.

3.  Then let us leave him to his rest,

And homeward turn, for he is blest.

And we must well our souls prepare,

When death shall come, to meet him there.

4.  So help us, Christ, our Hope in loss;

Thou hast redeemed us by Thy Cross

From endless death and misery;

We praise, we bless, we worship Thee.

Father, What’er of Earthly Bliss   1 comment

Crucifix III July 15, 2014

Above:  One of My Crucifixes, July 2015

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Hymn Source = New Baptist Hymnal (1926), Northern Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Convention

The New Baptist Hymnal was considerably more popular in the former than in the latter, according to William Jensen Reynolds, Hymns of Our Faith:  A Handbook for the Baptist Hymnal (Nashville, TN:  Broadman Press, 1964), page xxix.

Text (published in 1760) by Anne Steele (1716-1778), who spent most of her life as an invalid in constant pain and frequently bedridden, and whose fiance died just a few hours before the scheduled wedding


1.  Father, whate’er of earthly bliss

Thy sovereign will denies,

Accepted at thy throne of grace,

Let this petition rise:–

2.  Give me a calm, a thankful heart,

From ev’ry murmur free;

The blessings of thy grace impart,

And make me live to thee.

3.  Let the sweet hope that thou art mine

My life and death attend;

Thy presence thro’ my journey shine,

And crown my journey’s end.

O Lord, Hear Thou My Calling   1 comment

©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda

Above:  De Profundis

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Lutheran Hymnary (1935), Norwegian Lutheran Church of America/The Evangelical Lutheran Church

Original Text (1557) by Clement Marot (1497-1544)

English Translation (1907) by Carl Doving (1867-1937)


1.  O Lord, hear Thou my calling,

Out of the deep I cry;

O make my prayer prevailing;

With aid to me draw nigh:

O mark my lamentation,

My restless sighing hear,

And to my supplication

Incline Thy gracious ear.

2.  If Thou shouldst mark abuses

And strict account demand,

O Lord, with what excuses

Could we before Thee stand?

But if with true contrition

Our sins we mourn and blame,

Thou savest from perdition

That we may fear Thy name.

3.  In God my hope abideth,

My trust is in the Lord,

My soul in Him confideth

And builds upon His word:

My soul for Him is yearning,

More longing for His grace

Than daylight’s sweet returning

The watchman longs to trace.

4.  Be God thy strong foundation,

Thou chosen Israel;

Thy God with whom salvation

And mercy ever dwell;

His river ever streameth,

With pardon full and free,

He Israel redeemeth

From all iniquity.

Lord Jesus Christ, My Life, My Light   3 comments


Above:  Christ the Merciful

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Lutheran Hymnary (1935), Norwegian Lutheran Church of America/The Evangelical Lutheran Church

Original German Words (1610) by Martin Behm (1557-1622)

English Translation (1858) by Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878)


1.  Lord Jesus Christ, my life, my light,

My strength by day, my trust by night,

On earth I’m but a passing guest,

And sorely with my sins oppressed.

2.  Far off I see my fatherland,

Where through Thy grace I hope to stand,

But ere I reach that paradise,

A weary way before me lies.

3.  My heart sinks at the journey’s length,

My wasted flesh has little strength,

Only my soul still cries in me,

Lord, fetch me home, take me to Thee!

4.  O let Thy sufferings give me power

To meet the last and darkest hour;

Thy cross the staff whereon I lean,

My couch the grace where Thou hast been.

5.  Since Thou hast died, the pure, the just,

I take my homeward way in trust,

The gates of heaven, Lord, open wide,

When here I may no more abide.

6.  And when the last great day is come,

And Thou, our Judge, shalt speak the doom,

Let me with joy behold the light,

And set me then upon Thy right.

7.  Renew this wasted flesh of mine,

That like the sun it there may shine,

Among the angels pure and bright,

Yea, like Thyself in glorious light.

8.  Ah, then I have my heart’s desire,

When singing with the angels’ choir,

Among the ransomed of Thy grace,

For ever I behold Thy face!