Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Grundtvig's church of living stones

The church, that ancient house, will stand

The church, that ancient house, will stand
though its towers may keep on falling,
many lie ruined, deep in sand,
yet their bells still go on calling,
calling the young as well as old,
mostly to those with wearied soul
whose longing is rest eternal.

No house that human hands have raised
can be the Lord our God’s temple,
the tabernacle can, though praised,
but as shadow it resemble.
Yet God a wondrous dwelling made,
formed it from merely earthly clay,
raised it from dust by his mercy.

We are his house and church, a shrine
built out of stones that are living,
who, ’neath the cross, baptism combine
with faith in heartfelt thanksgiving.
Were we but two or three, e’en so
he’d choose to build and dwell below
amongst us in all his glory.

We with our king can meet and pray
in the humblest hut if need be,
can say with Peter: Here I’d stay,
though the world were offered freely;
close as his word, he’ll ne’er depart,
he is our mouth, likewise our heart,
o’er time and space king and ruler.

Houses which churches have as name,
built all in praise of our Saviour ,
where to his arms oft children came,
as home we cherish and savour.
Wonderful things are spoken there,
the pact concluded that we share
with him who grants us all heaven.

The font baptism calls to mind,
the altar joys of communion,
God’s word where faith and hope combine
with his love in mystic union,
the house of God, whose word endures,
Christ, who eternal life ensures,
God’s living Son, our Redeemer.

May then God grant, where’er our home,
always when church bells are pealing,
people in Christian faith will come
to where they can hear when kneeling:
Not as the world sees, you see me,
all that I say will come to be,
my peace I leave with you always!

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