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God with Us

Paul Gerhardt
translated by
Catherine Winkworth

Blessèd Jesus! This
Thy lowly manger is
The Paradise where oft my soul would feed;
Here is the place, my Lord,
Where lies the Eternal Word
Clothed with our flesh, made like to us indeed.

For He whose mighty sway
The winds and seas obey,
Submits to serve, and stoops to those who sin;
The glorious Son of God
Doth bear the mortal load
Of earth and dust, like us and all our kin.

For thus, O God Supreme,
Wilt Thou our flesh redeem,
And rise it to Thy throne o’er every height;
Eternal Strength, here Thou
To brotherhood dost bow
With transient things that pass like mists of night.

Thy glory and Thy joy
All woe and grief destroy;
Thou, Heavenly Treasure, dost all wealth restore!
Thou deep and living Well!
Thou great Immanuel
Dost conquer sin and death for evermore!

Then come, whoe’er thou art,
O poor desponding heart,
Take courage now, let this thy fears dispel,
That since His Son most dear
Thy God hath given thee here,
It cannot be but God doth love thee well.

How often dost thou think
That thou must surely sink,
That hope and comfort are no more for thee;
Come hither then and gaze
Upon this Infant’s face,
And here the love of God incarnate see.

Ah now the blessèd door
Stands open evermore
To all the joys of this world and the next:
This Babe will be our Friend,
And quickly make an end
Of all that faithful hearts long time hath vex’d.

Then, earth, we care no more
To seek thy richest store,
If but this treasure will be still our own;
And he who holds it fast
Till all this life is past,
Our Lord will crown with joy before His throne.

[from Winkworth’s Lyra Germanica]


Wreath and bell image, used under license from www.123rf.com (profile_katisa/123RF Stock Photo)

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Image credit: Copyright: profile_katisa/123RF Stock Photo
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