This year our special services (Lent midweek, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunrise) built on the theme of the hymn of the day. Congregational singing is part of the rich heritage of the Lutheran Church. Not only are our teaching built strictly on the Bible, but we do not seek to hide any point of doctrine or practice.
With this in mind, Luther and the other reformers began writing hymns to explain salvation by grace through faith for the sake of Christ. These hymns clearly spoke of the grace of God, the history of salvation, and the chief parts of Christian doctrine. Such hymns as Salvation Unto Us Has Come and Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice joined Luther’s catechetical hymns.
One hundred years later, in 1618, began the Thirty Years War, which was devastating to the German people. Millions of people died as a result of the war, famine, and plague. Yet from this period in history came some of the greatest hymns of comfort. Several of the hymns we studied this year were composed during his dark period of human history.
We chose the hymns to study based on the LCMS “Hymn of the Day” suggestions for the Lutheran Service Book. Although we could have used popularity or personal preference or some other criteria, we knew that this list of suggested hymns gave a good cross-section of Lutheran hymnody.
You can find the videos of the sermons on these hymns in the Lent Midweek — 2023 page of this website. I recorded some of the sermons in my office, others were recorded during the church service.
Throughout the Easter season we will continue to use the hymn of the day as the basis for the sermon. After all, these hymns are chosen because they help explain the Gospel reading or other readings of a given Sunday. By taking the time to explore what the hymn teaches about Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, we help reinforce the theme of the day.
Thank you for viewing these sermons. I look forward to your feedback.