today with the setting of the sun. As the darkest days of the year creep up on us, the Church celebrates the Sun of the Righteousness who rises with healing in His wings. The Divine Service for the first week in Advent always features one of my all-time favorite hymns: "Savior of the Nations." It was a hymn that St. Ambrose (whose commemoration is fast approaching) originally wrote, and which Luther loved so much he put into German. We have it, thus, from Ambrose through Luther and finally Englished. Here are some of its beautiful stanzas:
Then stepped forth the Lord of all
From His pure and kingly hall,
God of God, yet fully man,
His heroic course began.
God the Father was His source,
Back to God He ran His course.
Into hell His road went down,
Back then to His throne and crown.
For You are the Father's Son
Who in flesh the victory won.
By Your mighty power make whole
All our ills of flesh and soul.
From the manger newborn light
Shines in glory through the night.
Darkness there no more resides,
In this light faith now abides. (LSB 332:4-7)
You can hear a stunning organ rendition of the hymn here: