The Demolition of ULC, by Pastor Mark Preus

Found on Pastor Mark Preus’s blog, Lutheran Hymn Revival. This is a blog for me to practice writing Lutheran poetry and discussing it, especially in its hymnic form. Constructive comments are very much appreciated.

 

This hymn is on the demolition of ULC and its being set aside for profane use; so it contrasts holy use with profane use, and therefore faith with unbelief, Church with world, etc.

It is sung to the tune by Stephen van der Hoek; the sheet music is at the bottom.

 

The demolition of University Lutheran Chapel
O Jesus Christ, our temple,
True God, enfleshed for us;
The dwelling place of sinners,
The Lord our righteousness.
Have mercy on us, Jesus,
When sin succeeds to own
The outward things that please us
Through which Your truth was known.

There stood the font before us,
Revealing who you are;
The altar there received us,
And gave your brothers more
Than earth and mammon offer,
Than all our works could win,
For there your blood and body
Gave pardon for our sin.

Now see the pulpit crumble
To men who have no care
For what the poor and humble
Came every week to hear.
And loved ones are divided,
Despite your Spirit’s call;
Man’s reason has decided
To let your temple fall.

And glass that told the story
Of what we need to live,
In haste for wealth is shattered
For what the world can give:
More mammon for their worship,
More space to spread the lies
That persecute your children
And Your pure Word despise.

But though my heart is broken,
A song of praise shall rise
Against the pow’r of evil,
Against the devil’s lies.
Let outward forms all perish,
There still remains the Word,
Which never will deceive us,
But calls us to our Lord.

Where two or three are gathered
In Your most holy name,
God, Father, Son and Spirit,
There all our guilt and blame
Are banished from the heavens
More surely than the stone
Which in our sight has crumbled;
No, we are not alone.

We stand with all the martyrs,
Who shed much more than dust;
Their blood still gives their witness,
Gives courage unto us,
That we have lost here nothing;
God’s kingdom still belongs
To those who cry, repentant
With David’s psalms and songs.

For though he built no temple,
Yet God raised up for Him
The Temple of our Savior,
Who ransomed him from sin.
And God now dwells among us,
Enthroned in flesh and blood,
To free us from destruction
And give us every good.

So, mourn, brothers and sisters,
But sing to God with joy,
Who gives us precious treasures
Which no one can destroy.
His Word still gives His Spirit
To sinners in their needs.
Our temple is above us,
Where Christ our Savior pleads.

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