This morning our family joined in a song, something we actually do quite often in our home, but this song was much older than our typical tunes. In fact, this song is nearly 500 years old, written between 1527 and 1529. In the early 1500s a young man named Martin Luther desired change in the church, he didn’t agree with the church tradition of “payment” for sins and started the Protestant Reformation, an event that changed the history of the church forever. This man had strong convictions and stood up for what he believed, which was that salvation is free, not based on anything that we can do. He translated the Bible into the people’s language, making it more accessible for common people to read. His songs began the singing of songs in churches. And, he was GERMAN. So, thanks to the suggestion of my oh-so-knowledgable friend Kathleen, again, we sang a hymn by Martin Luther: German, church-changer, man of God.
A Mighty Fortress is Our God
There is a depth and richness to this hymn that is unlike most songs written today. And, while the language is more difficult to understand, there is a beauty to it. Just knowing how many years this song has been sung is a powerful reminder of the communion of the saints. I am so thankful that Brian can play the piano and that we have a piano to play and our own little “printing press” to copy songs to sing together. What an impact the Germans have made!
Here are the lyrics and here’s a link so you can see it yourself! http://my.homewithgod.com/heavenlymidis2/fortress.html
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
- 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.