I’m sharing an idea: a Reformation hymn about the mind of Christ. Ok, I’d settle on a Bible study, devotional book, or lay-friendly educational book. Alright, sermons are welcome, too. 😉Think about it:
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:14-16 ESV)
What an amazing revelation. It explicitly does not say everyone has the mind of Christ. The passage goes on, in the next verse (which happens to be the next chapter), to describe how the Apostle Paul addresses the recipients of his letter. That implies to me evangelism, sermonizing, and apostolic authority now found in the sacred Scriptures. That is, the apostles received the mind of Christ to teach and care for the church. The mind of Christ is revealed by God’s Word through His Holy Spirit.
So, couldn’t a hymn talk about the gift of the mind of Christ? It could speak of Law and Gospel, the power and consistency of the Word, and the succession of prophets, apostles, and other faithful shepherds of the Church. You know, like Martin Luther, who could be honored without being named, as he was understandably squirmy about those who might make Lutheranism about him rather than He who reforms us by recreating us, granting new birth in the water of Holy Baptism by the power of the Word and presence of the Spirit, giving physical and spiritual food through the Lord’s Supper, and sustaining us by an ongoing cycle of the forgiveness of sins and dependence upon the Word.
It could talk about the unity given alone in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Church as His Body. It could talk about the safety found as we trust God’s Word alone. It could talk about the discernment and wisdom we continually need from the Lord, who reigns on high yet is always with us. It could speak faith against sight as grounded in God’s revelation about Himself, the world, and each of us.
Unsure about content for an upcoming hymn contest? Write away!
3 Responses to I would love to see . . .
This has me thinking and pondering Mary. Thank you!
I wish I could write a hymn. My attempts at poetry have never gone beyond two lines.
Nevertheless it is an awesome statement. In his next letter, St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, 3:3, “And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” I believe both statements refer to the Words of God in Jeremiah’s prophecy, 31:33, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
We Lutherans may not be overly thrilled to have “the Law” written in our hearts, but the Holy Spirit inspired the Prophet to use the word “Torah,” which, in its widest sense means “the mind of God.” Do you see where this is going? Jeremiah and St. Paul are writing about the same thing, which is truly meet, right and salutary. It is what is written in our hearts by the Holy Spirit when we are baptized.
Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart
Excellent point! Thank you!