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HYMN FOR EASTER 4 Entrust while on your Journey/Heidi's hymn

English: Entrust while on Your Journey

German: Befiehl du deine Wege

Norwegian: Velt alle dine veier


Text: Paul Gerhardt (1607-1674) Tune: Johann Crüger (1598-16)

Jesus The Good Shepherd Mosaic in Mauolemu of Galla Placidia, Ravenna 425

1. Entrust, while on your journey,

All that which grieves your heart,

Into the care most faithful

Of him who rules the stars,

To him whose power governs

A way for clouds and air,

For he will also find you

The way he has prepared.


2. To God, whom you must trust in

To bless you here on earth,

Look to his works around you

So that your work has worth.

Your own consuming worries,

Your tears or grief or cares

Will not bring God to help you:

Go to the Lord in prayer.


3. Your faithfulness and mercy,

O Father, know and see

All that is good or hurtful

For all your children’s needs,

For what your will has purposed

You do, Almighty One,

And what your wisdom pleases

Is by your counsel done.


4. Ways you will find, yes always,

You never lack the might,

Your deeds are purest blessing,

Your path is purest light,

Your work cannot be hindered

Your labor never rests,

When you would give your children

All that would serve them best.


5. And even if all devils

Would try to hold their sway

It never can be doubted

That God will win the day.

What he himself created

And what he wants to be

Will in the end live always

Through all eternity.


6. Hope always, weary Christian,

Hope, never, never fear,

For God will grasp you out of

The pit of sheer despair.

God’s mercies will relieve you

Of your anxieties.

Wait patiently, his sunshine

With joy you soon will see.


7. In him, rest all your sorrows,

Give them a glad good night.

Let go of all that troubles

Your heart and causes fright.

So rest, God is the ruler

Of everything that is,

He governs well from heaven

And everything is his.


8. Him, him, let him now govern,

The wisest Prince whose ways

Will manage all things wisely

So you will be amazed.

When he, as is his nature,

Will rule with power and truth

And he will find solutions

For all that troubles you.


9. He may delay a season

And seem to let you go,

As though he had intended

To leave you all alone

And let you be suspended

In anxious groans of rue,

As though he had forgotten

His promises to you.


10. Will you stay true and faithful

To him in whom you rest,

Then he will yet deliver

You when you least expect.

Then he will lift your burden,

And set your spirit free.

You’ll see your sorrows ended

In glorious liberty.


11. Yes, soon, oh child most faithful!

You have your battle won!

With glory and thanksgiving

You’ve now received your crown!

For God himself has given

A palm in your right hand

And now you sing in heaven

With those victorious bands.


12. Bring it about, O Father,

Now end our pain and need.

And strengthen for our journey

Our weary hands and feet

And let your care surround us

Steadfastly on our way

As every step will lead us

Toward heaven’s brighter day.

Ps. 37:5 Entrust to God your ways and hope in him, he will, yes, bring it

about.

Tr. Gracia Grindal 2007


MEDITATION

A pastor in Norway told me once that normal body temperature in Celsius is 37.5. He had learned in seminary that Psalm 37.5 also was normal for Christians. It brought to mind the German Lutheran chorale by Paul Gerhardt.This beloved hymn reflects on Psalm 37. It is also an acrostic. The first word in every stanza becomes Psalm 37:5, beginning with Entrust.Like sheep, Christians entrust themselves to the Good Shepherd.

The song helps the doctor plagued by doubts of faith

The children’s book Heidi by Johanna Spyri, (1827-1901), shows how that worked. Heidi, living with her grandfather, had not learned to read. After a couple of years, she was taken to Frankfurt by her aunt. Heidi was not happy about being forced to leave her grandfather, but she met a new friend, Clara, and her grandmother. Clara’s grandmother was appalled that Heidi could not read and made sure she learned how to.


When Heidi happily returned to her grandfather, she ran to her friend Peter’s

grandmother who was blind and began to read the hymns the grandmother longed to hear, especially this one. As she did, she both gladdened the heart of the grandmother and learned the truths of the Gospel.


Heidi used it to understand her own situation—learning from Clara’s grandmother that God answered prayers but not always right away. “He may delay a season…” But when the answer came it would be perfect and much better for you than what you had asked. Heidi realized this had happened in her own life when her prayers to return to her grandfather were finally answered, but not before she had learned to read. She then

understood the truth of the hymn. She used it to help the doctor who had told Clara’s

father to let Heidi return to her grandfather. When he expressed his sorrows to Heidi one

day she comforted him with this hymn. Something he remembered his mother doing

years before.


Psalm 37:3 reminds us to find the green pastures of our Lord. There we will be safe and can wait patiently for the Lord. Remain steadfast; God will surprise you. Keep your temperature normal. As his sheep, we have nowhere else to turn than to him. Entrust your ways to him!


HYMN INFO

Paul Gerhardt, (1607-1676) known as the Sweet Singer of Lutheranism, grew up in Grafheinichen, between Halle and Wittenberg. He attended school in nearby Grimma. While Gerhardt was still a student, plague ravaged the town. At his graduation, in 1627, given the exigencies of the Thirty Years War, he did not receive a call, but served as a tutor to a family in Berlin.


During that time he became acquainted with the organist, Johann Crüger (1598-1662) the cantor at the Nikolai church in Berlin. In 1647 they began working together and published significant collections of hymns called Praxis pietatis melica. Over ninety of Gerhardt’s hymns appeared in these collections. This hymn appeared in the 1653 collection.


In 1657 he was called as Deacon to the Nikolai church but became embroiled in a

theological dispute. He lost his position, his wife died after a long illness, leaving him with their one surviving child out of five. It was a difficult time for him. In 1668 the Lübben congregation, south of Berlin on the Spree River, called him to serve as

Archdeacon. He served there until his death in 1674. The congregation wrote under his

portrait in the church, “A theologian sifted in the crib of Satan. Theologus in cribro

Satanus versatus.”


The tune by Johann Crüger is also the tune for "O Sacred Head Now Wounded." In prior days, text writers would suggest an old tune for their text. The meant that this tune was used frequently for many texts in the 17th century.


LINKS

Iver Kleive De Unsynlige/Troubled Water 2008


Oslo Gospel Choir


Jars of Clay/Lift Up Your Head


Give to the Winds your Fears/John Wesley's translation


As sung by Thomas church choir for the funeral of Kurt Masur






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