One of the things I like about poetry is the ability to spin around a single focus-point. Writing hymns can be even more satisfying as we can integrate biblical imagery and integrate texts! I lost my notes for it, but one idea I had for the Reformation hymn contest was to write about Christ, our Rock, and I am sharing the idea, fleshed out a little, with you!
The connection to Reformation is admittedly a bit tenuous. It is not built around a traditional reading for the festive day, but the simple thought that our Mighty Fortress is our Rock.
There is a rich biblical vocabulary for a hymn speaking on that motif! “There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2).
Think about it: the Carpenter (or builder) builds the church in such a way that He is the Rock that builds the Church!* There is the Rock of Peter’s Confession of Christ, the Rock which Moses struck and the spiritual rock which is Christ, the foundation of the prophets and apostles (ie., the Word of God), the Stone rejected which is our Cornerstone. There’s the Rock of Ages!
One more image I really liked, but haven’t been able to pull off in verse is this: In the Old Testament, the faithful could set up pillars and stones, but we don’t establish pillars and stones in the same way. In these last days, our banner is Christ crucified!**
We have no rock or monument
To worship God aright.
In these last days the Crucified
Is set before our sight.
As Confessional as Lutheranism can be, with its confessing documents and proclamations, let’s consider confessing the faith through some Lutheran hymn writing!
*Not to slight the Holy Spirit, who calls, enlivens, gathers, etc.
**Not dissing art. I love art. Let’s cultivate and encourage all forms of Lutheran art.