Lord, to You I Make Confession (LSB 608) — 1 yr
There are two parts to confession: 1) to faithfully confess one’s sins and 2) to receive absolution, that is, forgiveness of sins in Christ Jesus’ name. Johann Frank’s (1618–1677) hymn of confession is a sung confession of sins with trust that they are forgiven in him who suffered and died to rescue, save, reconcile, and set free the penitent sinner. This hymn is rightly used when we hear preached Jesus’ teaching of lost sinners being found again (whether the lost sheep and coin being found in Luke 15:1–10 or the return of the lost son in Luke 15:11–32). Such is the case when one confesses and is absolved; that penitent is forgiven and restored to a right relationship with the heavenly Father by Christ’s precious blood, as proclaimed by the pastor (John 20:19-23). The forgiven sinner’s sins are cast into the deepest sea (referring to Holy Baptism) and he or she stands cleansed from all iniquity. Thanks be to God for His mercy to sinners.
Evening and Morning (LSB 726) — 3 yr
This hymn by Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676) sings the lively confession that we are protected by the creator of all things. No matter the time or circumstances his eye rests upon his own and preserves by his mercy. What can cloud this brightness? Sins. A person’s sins cause terror in the conscientious mind; only forgiveness in Christ can remove that dark blot so that it no longer stands before God as an accusation against Christians. The trials of this life can also cause doubt in the Christian. Against all the storms of this life is the promise that one is forgiven and promised a heavenly place before his face. It is fitting that our hymns should rise to the God who forgives, leads, and strengthens his saints.
The tune by Johann G. Ebeling (1637-1676), kantor of Gerhardt’s church (St. Nicholas in Berlin), aids the sung confession of faith. It rightly is sung in a quick, joyous manner.
Rev. Thomas E. Lock serves as Kantor/Assistant Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Denver, Colorado.