“Witness, Mercy, Life Together”: A Hymn (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

President Harrison’s “Emphasis for the Church” is summed up in three terms, “Witness, Mercy, Life Together” (Martyria, Diakonia, Koinonia are the related Greek terms). The President’s Office has set up a blog, wmlt.org, to carry forward the theme of “Witness, Mercy, Life Together: In Christ, for the Church and the World.”

I’m going to be referring to this threefold emphasis in my preaching over the coming weeks, as I start a sermon series on the Book of Acts. So I thought it would be good to have a hymn to accompany the series. I’m aware that there are already a couple of hymns that fit the emphasis, “God’s Redeemed, Beloved and Holy” (by Pr. Stephen Starke) and “Witness, Mercy, Life Together” (by Pr. Alan Kornacki). But I thought I’d try my hand at writing one myself. The result is below.

For a tune, I’m suggesting Rex gloriae (LSB 494, 583). Click the music link and sing along! (An alternative tune could be O Durchbrecher (LSB 409, 531).)

If anybody wants to use this hymn, I’ve got it on a half-sheet insert (front and back), and I could send you the file attachment upon request. My e-mail address: [email protected]

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Witness, Mercy, Life Together

Witness, Mercy, Life Together,
Life in Christ, for Church and world;
Witness, Mercy, Life Together–
This shall be our flag unfurled!
Gathered, going, speaking, serving,
New life flowing from our Lord;
He shall feed us, onward lead us,
By His own life-giving Word.

Christ came down and dwelt among us,
Law and Prophets to fulfill;
Sent to save a world of sinners,
Jesus did the Father’s will.
Dying, rising, then ascending,
Christ is making all things new;
Pouring out His Spirit on us,
Christ now gives us work to do.

Witness bearing, Martyria,
Bold proclaiming of the truth;
Tongues of fire on each believer,
Now as in the Church’s youth.
Preaching, teaching, faith confessing,
Gospel reaching far and near;
Lord, we pray that You would open
Mouths to speak and ears to hear.

Mercy works, Diakonia,
Service done in Jesus’ name;
Hearts so moved with His compassion
For the poor, the weak, the lame.
Giving, caring, helping, healing,
Love that takes the lower place;
May our lives of humble service
Show the riches of God’s grace.

Life Together, Koinonia,
Sharing in a common birth;
Fellowship, with Christ the center,
We His body here on earth.
Growing, bearing fruit, forgiving,
Brothers living all as one;
Breaking bread, the Lord’s Communion,
Life eternal now begun.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Triune God, whom we adore,
Source of all the Church’s blessings,
Praise to You forevermore!
Guarding, guiding, still providing,
For our mission is Your own:
Witness, Mercy, Life Together–
Glory be to You alone!

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Text: © 2011 Charles Henrickson
Tune: REX GLORIAE (LSB 494, 583) 87 87 D
Alternate tune: O DURCHBRECHER (LSB 409, 531)

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