Singing Theology

The Hymn of the Day for tomorrow is “By Grace I’m Saved.”  Along with the 10 stanza hymn, “Dear Christians One and All, Rejoice” and “Salvation unto Us Has Come,” pretty much cover the whole of Lutheran Theology.  Well, just to be safe one might add, “Baptized into Your Name Most Holy” and the communion hymn, “Lord Jesus Christ, You have Prepared.”

A thorough study of these hymns could provide a basis for weeks of teaching and learning the depths of Lutheran Theology.

For instance, “By grace I’m saved, grace free and boundless; my soul, believe and doubt it not.”

We could all agree that we are saved by grace.  However, when we got into the particulars of what “grace free and boundless” actually means we may want to pause for some reflection and discussion.  Does that include those who have dropped out of “church” because the church has been a disappointment and in order to save their faith they need to get away, they are covered too?  Yep! You mean all this I’ve been doing for “church,” counts for nothing toward my salvation, not even a teensy weensy bit? Nope!

We may well “stagger at this word of promise.”  But why?  Is the scripture wrong and false?  Well, No. Then if the word of promise in scripture remains true, and despite my sense that it just isn’t fair (and we all should be thankful that God isn’t fair) and that I can’t contribute anything seems demeaning; nevertheless, “By grace you too will life obtain.”

But, if I sing through stanzas 1-4 with some doubt clinging to my mind, stanza 5 is just the word I need,

By grace to timid hearts that tremble,

In tribulation’s furnace tried,

By grace, in spite of fear and trouble,

The Father’s heart is open wide.

Where could I help and strength secure

If grace were not my anchor sure?

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