Hymn on the first half of 1st Corinthians 11

A friend from high school recently remarked that you hear a lot of hymns about the second half of 1 Corinthians 11 (Lord’s Supper), but not about the first half (head coverings, headship). He inspired me to write a hymn based on the first half of 1 Corinthians 11. I wrote it to the tune of “If Thou But Trust in God to Guide Thee,” which is our hymn of the month at Trinity and St. Paul, and it can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFfYKN6Jw1o&t=23s

The last stanza ties in the second half of the chapter.




The blood of Jesus Christ our Savior
Descending from His wounded head
Has won for sinners God’s own favor,
As Christ submitted in our stead.
Obeying God’s authority
He made His shackled body free.

For she was bound by sin and dying,
Her wand’ring heart not free at all;
Blind to all good in vain was trying
To choose her lot since Adam’s fall.
Her will was chained by Satan’s pow’r.
Her fruit was spoiled; her grapes were sour.

But Jesus claimed her as His body.
Into Himself God’s Son assumed
The flesh of men who, lost and haughty,
Were in their sins forever doomed.
He made Himself the Head of man,
Submitting to His Father’s plan.

By cleansing with the Word and water
The Savior’s blood still covers sin.
When sorrow falls on Zion’s daughter
To leave her lost and dead within,
He claims her as His body new
So as her Head is, she is too.

Dear Christians, learn from Christ’s example.
As God He shares the Father’s seat.
And yet, as Lord He does not trample
His fragile bride beneath His feet.
He honors God the Father’s will
To save the weak and poor and ill.

So husbands, imitate such honor
And show it toward the weaker link.
For frailty was God’s saving power
When Christ received the bitter drink.
Blessed is he who finds his wife
To be his glory in this life!

And wives, take courage in your Savior
Whose head was covered up with thorns
As He endured such cruel behavior
From sinners’ mocks and scoffers’ scorns.
So while your head is soiled with blame
Your Savior covers up his shame.

Since we are free from condemnation
By Jesus’s water, blood, and Word,
Now may we build on this foundation
And think according to our Lord.
He’s Head of all that reigns above
Yet born of woman in His love.

“This is my body,” says the Savior,
And bids us eat it in the bread.
Here is the token of God’s favor.
Here is the church’s Lord and Head.
Lord, cause our stormy hearts to cease
And as Your body grant us peace!


About Pastor Andrew Preus

Pastor Andrew Preus is the pastor of Trinity Lutheran/St. Paul Lutheran, Guttenberg/McGregor, IA. He is the eighth of eleven sons, with one sister. He received his seminary training at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines, ON (MDiv) from 2009 to 2013, and Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN (STM) from 2013 to 2014. His main theological interests include Justification and Church and Ministry. He is married to Leah Preus (nee Fehr), and they have four children: Jacob, Solveig, Kristiana, and Robert.


Hymn on the first half of 1st Corinthians 11 — 3 Comments

  1. Wow! Very nicely done! As we received so many great hymns as a result of the Arian controversy, I have reason to hope that we will receive such a trove of good hymns out of the controversies in our day. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that heresy is the mother of hymnody. But perhaps 1 Cor. 11:19 can apply to this: “for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.” The genuine are recognized, at least in part, by what they sing, for we sing our confession. Thank you for this. I can’t think of another hymn on this topic, and yours is beautifully written.

  2. This is outstanding! I’m going to read this on my wedding anniversary, and send it to the members of Zion on their anniversaries also! This is exactly the type of poetry and hymnody we need in the church now. Many who attempt to write on this topic tend to leave out the atonement altogether, but you preached it so beautifully here. Thank you.

  3. Sublime composition, Pastor Preus! I’ve been married to the same woman for 36 years so this text is especially meaningful to me:

    “So while your head is soiled with blame
    Your Savior covers up his shame.”

    Gospel comfort for a poor, miserable sinner.

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