What God Ordains Is Always Good (LSB 760)
Samuel Rodigast (1649–1708) wrote the hymn presumably for the man who wrote the tune, Severus Gastorius (1646–1682) when he was sick and wanted a hymn for his funeral. Although this hymn does not explicitly mention Christ, it contains his teachings clearly, especially the Gospel lesson for today from Matthew 6. St. Paul says that we should teach and admonish one another with hymns (Col. 3:16). This hymn teaches and admonishes to consider the providence of God. Since we know God as our friend and Father through Jesus, we know that he will provide for us and take care of us in every circumstance. Singing this hymn exercises our faith as we consider not only the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer (give us this day our daily bread), but also the 3rd Petition (Thy will be done). This hymns asserts that no matter what happens (joy or woe), “Someday I shall see clearly / That He has loved me dearly,” and that “No poison can be in the cup / That my Physician sends me.” In other words, it changes our anxieties about the present and future into confident expressions of faith in God’s goodwill towards us in Christ.
Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness (LSB 849)
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 19)
Rusty Edwards wrote this hymn to fit the many Gospel lessons about Jesus’ miracles, especially those of healing. The hymn is an exhortation or encouragement to praise Jesus for his many deeds that show him to be the “Word incarnate, Christ, who suffered in our place.” In today’s Gospel, Jesus casts out a demon. The “two-edged sword” he used was his word. The hymn points us to Christ and his work to “help [our] unbelief.” Only by fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, that is, by listening to him in his Gospel and sacraments, can the unbelief of our flesh be removed.
Rev. Mark Preus serves as a campus pastor at St. Andrews in Laramie, WY.