XII - Number 05 - April 2020

posted Mar 30, 2012, 3:22 PM by Zion Lutheran Guthrie Oklahoma   [ updated Apr 9, 2020, 1:01 PM ]


ZioN NoiZ

April 2020

Zion Lutheran Church

424 E. Warner Ave.

Guthrie, OK 73044-3348

Phone – 405-282-3914                                                            Fax – 405-282-3918

Rev. W. R. Rains, Pastor                                                   Home Phone 405-728-8330   

 E-mail: faithokc@aol.com                                                  Website: zlcguthrieok.org


Sharing Grace: God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense



 Volume XII                                                                                                                      Number 5       

Pastor’s Point of View

“Let Us Ever Walk with Jesus” found on page 685 in Lutheran Service Book (LSB) is the hymn of the month (HOM). The text is by Sigmund von Birken (1626-81). He also used the surname of Betulius. He was the son of a pastor in what is now the Czech Republic. When he was three, the family along with other Lutheran pastors, were forced to flee due to the effects of the Counter-Reformation. His family settled in Nürnberg. At seventeen, he entered the University of Jena to study law and theology, but two years later returned to Nürnberg because he lacked the funds to continue his studies. Because of his poetic skills, he was admitted into the membership of a society of poets in Nürnberg.

In addition to being admitted into the poetic society, he was appointed as tutor to the two princes of Braunschweig-Lüneberg. While serving as tutor he was made poet laureate. However, after about a year he resigned his post as tutor and spent the next two years traveling through Lower Saxony and Holstein. At age 22 he returned to Nürnberg at about the time the Thirty Years’ War was ending serving as a private tutor. In 1654 Emperor Ferdinand II elevated him to the rank of nobility on account of his poetic gifts. At age 31 he married the widow of a pastor, and after her death he married another widow. He wrote plays, dramas, and other poetic works. In 1662, he was named the head of the society of poets he had been asked to join as a young man. He wrote about fifty hymns. He died at the age of fifty-five as the result of a stroke.

The tune for our HOM was composed by George Gottfried Bolze. The only information comes from Johann Christopher Kühnau in a book published in Berlin in 1790. It stated – G. G. Boltze, cantor and schoolteacher at the royal orphanage in Potsdam, 1788. Another source, Johannes Zahn adds that he was cantor and teacher there around 1750.

In LSB this hymn is placed under the heading “Sanctification.” It expresses the newness of life in which the baptized child of God walks by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. Each stanza begins with a statement resolving to imitate Jesus. In stanza 1, the desire is to walk with Jesus by following His perfect example. Stanza 2 expresses our willingness to suffer with Jesus and patiently bear the cross He lays upon us. In stanza 3, the believer is determined to die with Jesus. And stanza 4 bids us to live with Jesus in the victory of the resurrection.

An insightful observation regarding this hymn comes from Hans-Christian Drӧmann as translated by Mark Bender. “The particular theological value of the hymn lies in this, that the poet did not conclude the following of Jesus at the foot of the cross, but in the Easter victory of Christ over death. Following is not only about suffering and dying with [Him]; following means, in the same way, the completely new living with [Him].  


                                                                                                      Pastor Rains

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