Danish: Komm, regn av det høie
German: Komm Himmlische regen
Norwegian: Komm regn fra det høye
Text: Josua Stegmann (1588-163 Tune: Johan Peter Emmanuel Hartmann 1805-1900
Tr. Hans Adolph Brorson (1694-1764) Tr. P. C. Paulsen and Gracia Grindal
1. Come rain from the heavens! Let earth now be nourished
Like lily shades,
So as our Lord Jesus has promised, they flourish
In thousands of ways.
He wishes the poor and the drought stricken land
Refreshed and made fertile
With heavenly waters
From paradise’ streams,
From Paradise’ streams.
2. Come springs out of heaven, your waters come flow here
On this your own land.
That flowers and fruit from your gardens may prosper
And grow in their stand.
See also my heart so abandoned and sore
It wishes so dearly
With sighs and with weeping
To hold to your wealth.
To hold your wealth.
3. Come, Soul’s living Spirit, with new life it quickens,
O heavenly wind!
Give fearful and sinful old hearts that are dying
A heavenly sense.
Each heart that is lying in muck and in sin
In pleasure’s morass
Send warmth from your place
So they can stand up.
4. Come, Spirit, our Comfort, the strength of our senses
O heavenly friend,
Like dew that in deserts refreshment dispenses
Our needs do attend.
That we to the Father may fervently pray
And, upward progressing
Sustained by his blessing,
May prosper always,
May prosper always.
5. Come, heavenly balsam, anoint our poor spirits
With pow’r from above,
That all we achieve may arise from the merits
Of Christ and his love;
The fruits of the Spirit with us let remain
In verdant condition
All sinful ambition
And lust do restrain,
And lust do restrain.
6. Come, Dove out of heaven, our hearts to embower
With brotherly love,
That Christians who know you may husband the power
Of grace from above.
Oh, help us to draw from this plentiful source,
That we may not falter,
Nor ever may alter
Our heavenward course,
Our heavenward course.
7. Help, Spirit of Jesus, the name of our Father
As children to speak.
Establishing our hope in his kingdom to gather
Its treasure to seek.
Oh, make us to grow in the faith of the Son
And strive by his merit
The crown to inherit
That he for us won,
That he for us won.
Contrary to all expectations, most of the U.S. is being deluged by rain or snow this year. California has gone from suffering the most severe drought in ages to being flooded with rain and snow towering in the mountain passes. The thirst of the Samaritan woman for living water could be compared to the thirsty earth. Nothing can grow and flourish without the springs gushing out of our Savior’s being. The Samaritan woman wants to live abundantly and has suffered much from life, something Jesus knows and tells her. This makes her eager to know more. She is thirsty both for water in the semi desert where she lives and in the spiritual desert where she is dwelling.
There are surprisingly few hymns with the theme of rain or living water. When the Samaritan woman after her conversation with Jesus hears of the living water, she says almost greedily, give me some of that water! We cannot live without water for very long. As people age, they are advised to drink more water since many seem to forget to do so and become dehydrated. A friend of mine said that she remembered one day when she was feeling punk to drink a glass of water and felt her body blossom almost. It felt healing.
Some commentators think that the reason the Samaritan woman has had five husbands is that she is barren and thus easily cast off by her husbands. She must have been desirable given her many husbands. If that is true, her thirst for life and wholeness after so much hurt must have been overwhelming. Jesus told her the truth, telling her he knew everything about her. He wanted to give her the water of life, something she must have been dying for. No wonder she ran into the village and bid them come to meet him.
In a way, given the water of life, she now had the joy and strength to go to others and tell them they could also have this same water that would parch their thirst forever and make them glad. It is for you to drink as well. Quench your thirst and live.
Josua Stegmann live in the years just after Luther and wrote many hymns. The Danish hymnwriter Hans Adolph Brorson, a pastor in Tønder, near the German border, wanted to bring the best of Lutheran hymnody into Danish so he translated this hymn into Danish where it became a cherished hymn. The Danish American church translated it into English and it was also used by the American Lutherans in their hymnal of 1930, but it did not last in its English version. J. P. E. Hartmann, founded the Romantic movement in Denmark. He was a Danish organist and musician who wrote many popular hymn tunes that are still cherished. The Norwegians love the folklike tune and use it in popular settings often.
Jo Asgeir Lie/a folk setting
Solveig Palmqvist/Danish version
NB A favorite of mine on John 4