20 March 2007

Herzliebster Jesu

What punishment so strange is suffered yonder,
The Shepherd dies for sheep that loved to wander,
The Master pays the debt His servants owe Him,
Who would not know Him.

There was no spot in me by sin untainted;
Sick with sin's poison, all my heart had fainted;
My heavy guilt to hell had well-night brought me,
Such woe it wrought me.

O wondrous love, whose depths no heart hath sounded,
That brought Thee here, by foes and thieves surrounded!
All worldly pleasure, heedless, I was trying
While Thou wert dying.

O mighty King, no time can dim Thy glory!
How shall I spread abroad the wondrous story?
How shall I find some worthy gifts to proffer?
What dare I offer?

I'll think upon Thy mercy without ceasing,
That earth's vain joys to me no more be pleasing;
To do Thy will shall be my sole endeavor,
Henceforth forever.

And when, dear Lord, before Thy throne in heaven
To me the crown of joy at last is given,
Where sweetest hymns Thy saints forever raise Thee,
I, too, shall praise Thee.

(LSB 439:4-8, 12, 15)

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