At some point this summer, I ran across this Reformation-era hymn while playing through the hymnal. I have thought of it often in recent days and wanted to share its’ gospel comfort with you all….
Comfort, comfort ye my people, speak ye peace, thus saith our God; comfort those who dwell in darkness, mourning ‘neath their sorrow’s load. Speak ye to Jerusalem of the peace that waits for them; tell her that her sins I cover, and her warfare now is over.
Yea, her sins our God will pardon, blotting out each dark misdeed; all that well deserved his anger he no more will see or heed. She hath suffered many a day, now her griefs have passed away; God will change her pining sadness into everspringing gladness.
For the herald’s voice is crying in the desert far and near, bidding all men to repentance, since the kingdom now is here. O that warning cry obey! Now prepare for God a way; let the valleys rise to meet him, and the hills bow down to greet him.
Make ye straight what long was crooked, make the rougher places plain; let your hearts be true and humble, as befits his holy reign. For the glory of the Lord now o’er earth is shed abroad; and all flesh shall see the token, that his word is never broken.
Lyrics by Johannes Olearius, 1671; Tr. by Catherine Winkworth, 1863
Tune: THIRSTING 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52. by Louis Bourgeois, 1551