A warm invitation

DE

 

My best friend, who is also my boss at the same time, just cares wonderfully that I have everything I need to live, nothing is missing: food, clothes, apartment, friends, he cares for everything. I can come to him with my worries, needs and fears, at any time of the day or night! He even shows me the way I should go -- only dilemma: often I do not listen to him. But that’s my misfortune, because it always turns out that he knows and knows better. Yes, sometimes it is also through hard times where I have to nibble hard. But he is there too and if he has to, he even carries me through. That’s why I really need nothing to fear if I rely on him. As I said, he is with me and with him I find comfort when I need him. Even if others want me bad, I find everything I need with him. He says to me: “You are my child and I care for you!” As long as I live, he is with me with his care and lets me feel his mercy and love.

After this life nothing more can separate me from him, because then I may move into my eternal dwelling with him, which he has specially prepared for me and where there is only glory.

You’ve probably already realized it: It’s Psalm 23 that I’ve just translated for myself, probably the best-known text in the Bible, a psalm of King David. Here I find myself, like many others, again. He corresponds to my experience with this god.

To make that possible, he became a man himself in Jesus Christ. He did not send any, no he came himself, personally. Nobody else could fulfill this difficult task and he offers his hand to everyone who wants it. Would you like to know that too? I invite you: Grab his hand! Anyone who has seriously said yes has never regretted it.Would you like that? Then it goes on here.

Why should I grieve?
1. WHY should sorrow ever grieve me;
Christ is near,
What can here
E’er of Him deprive me?
Who can rob me of my heaven
That God’s Son
As my own
To my faith hath given?

2. Naked was I and unswathèd
When on earth
At my birth
My first breath I breathèd.
Naked hence shall I betake me
When I go
From earth’s woe,
And my breath forsakes me.

 

3. Naught--not e’en the life I’m living,
Is mine own,
God alone
All to me is giving.
Must I then His own restore Him?
Though bereft
Of each gift,
Still shall I adore Him.

 

4. Though a heavy cross I’m bearing,
And my heart
Feels the smart,
Shall I be despairing?
God can help me who doth send it,
He doth know
All my woe
And how best to end it.

 

5. God oft gives me days of gladness,
Shall I grieve
If He give
Seasons, too, of sadness?
God is good, and tempers ever
Every hurt;
Me desert
Wholly can He never.

 

6. Though united world and Devil,
All their power
Can no more
Do than mock and cavil.
Let derision now employ them,
Christ e’en here
Will appear
And ’fore all destroy them.

 

7. True believers, shrinking never,
Where they dwell,
Should reveal
Their true colors ever.
When approaching death would scare them,
Still should they
Patient stay
And with courage bear them.

 

8. Death can never kill us even,
But relief
From all grief
To us then is given.
It doth close life’s mournful story,
Make a way
That we may
Pass to heavenly glory.

9. There I’ll reap enduring pleasure,
After woe
Here below
Suffered in large measure.
Lasting good we find here never,
All the earth
Deemeth worth
Vanisheth forever.

10. What is all this life possesseth?

But a hand
Full of sand
That the heart distresseth.
Noble gifts that pall me never,
Christ so free
There gives me
To enjoy forever.

11. Lord! Thou Fount of joy forever,
Thou art mine,
I am Thine,
No one can us sever.
I am Thine, because Thou gavest
Life and blood
For my good,
By Thy death me savest.

12. Thou art mine, I love and own Thee,
Ne’er shall I,
Light of joy,
From my heart dethrone Thee.
Let me, let me soon behold Thee
Face to face,
Thy embrace--
May it soon enfold me!

Paul Gerhard 1653
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