Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord,
With all Your graces now outpoured
On each believer's mind and heart;
Your fervent love to them impart.
Lord, by the brightness of Your light
In holy faith Your Church unite
From every land and every tongue;
This to Your praise, O Lord our God, be sung:
Come, Holy Light, Guide divine,
Now cause the Word of truth to shine.
Teach us to know our God aright
And call Him Father with delight.
From every error keep us free,
Let none but Christ our Master be,
That we in living faith abide,
In Him our Lord with all our might confide:
Come, Holy Fire, Comfort true,
Grant us the will Your work to do
And in Your service to abide,
Let trials turn us not aside.
Lord, by Your power prepare each heart
And to our weakness strength impart
That bravely here we may contend,
Through life and death, to You, our Lord, ascend:
Thus the Hymn of the Day for Pentecost. I am struck by its beauty and majesty in both text and tune. And it occurred to me for the first time that the three Chief Feasts - Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost - each feature a hymn of the day written by Dr. Luther. On Christmas, we sing at midnight: "From Heaven above" and on the day "We Praise You, Jesus, at Your Birth." Come Easter, of course, we sing: "Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands." And on Pentecost, the hymn above: "Come, Holy Ghost."
We usually remember our dear Dr. Luther as an outstanding catechist and continue to use his Catechisms; we remember him as an insightful theologian, and study his theological treatises and commentaries; we remember him as a fine preacher, and turn to his Postils for inspiration and comfort; we remember his towering translation work on the Sacred Scriptures; but it is easy to forget his exceptional gifts as poet and composer. Tomorrow we'll be singing together with Lutheran Christians (and I suspect other Christians too) across the ages and across the world, praying the same words and asking for the Holy Spirit to strengthen our faith and empower our love, binding us in unity with the Lord Jesus.