Hymn Summary: Historic Lectionary, Ash Wednesday

Editor's Note: With this post, Kantor Tom Lock begins a new series for LOGIA Online. The "Hymn of the Day Summary" summarizes the content of the hymn in a devotional manner, and we provide it here for you to use in bulletins and other congregational materials. All we ask is that you provide attribution to the author, in this case Kantor Lock. 

From Depths of Woe I Cry to You (LSB 607)

The Imposition of Ashes

A versified summary of Psalm 130 by Martin Luther, the hymn text has some additions. The psalm begins, “Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord,” which the hymn retains, but also states that all Christians endure tribulation in this life. The Christian cries for mercy, for without mercy God would not deign to help. Only His mercy, grace, and love avail; even the Christian’s holiest works fail to conquer sin. Only the blood of Christ crucified cancels sin. Therefore, the Christian does not have a wishful hope but a sure and strong hope. The Lord will send the needed aid, even though sometimes he delays until the best time. When Christians sing of Israel, they sing about the Israel from above—the Church. Thus, the line, “O Israel, trust in God your Lord,” sings about the Church, “Born of the Spirit and the Word” (cf. Romans 9:6; Galatians 4). Though great is our sin, far greater is the mercy of our Lord who hears our cries (Romans 5:20–21) and frees us from our direst enemy, sin.

—Kantor Tom Lock