Paul’s Letter to the Colossians is a great hymn to Christ and the fact that all things were made by Jesus and all things fit together and consist by Jesus. Martin Franzmann was a poet and a hymn writer and a theologian and wrote this –
The arts consist by Him. Air-conditioning which enables us to write an ode on “Tu solus, o Christe” without having our arm stick to the paper, that consists by Him.
These are all broken lights of the Light of the world, to say nothing of the more
obvious things: of the increased opportunities of the church, the enlarged
instrumentalities for the Gospel, the multiplication possible for our witnessing
voices. All these things consist by Him. This is part of the fact of the Christ, and
He looms ever larger before our eyes. This does not, of course, remove us from
responsibility; it places responsibility squarely upon us, the obligation, namely,
that all this muchness of the light that falls from Him be reflected by us. We
are His body; He works through us.
Enlarged instrumentalities for the Gospel is a marvelous descriptor of what we find around the world if we look. Phillip Magness who has been on these pages before held a conference and workshop in Togo a while back to teach and share. Here is an explanation.
From November 9th-14th 2015 a group of over 45 pastors and lay leaders from 3 countries and 5 different Lutheran Church Bodies met at the Centre Lutherien D’Etudes Theologiques for a worship workshop based on the Lutheran Hymnal in French,Liturgies et Cantiques Lutheriens. The students and faculty of CLET also participated. We were blessed to have Kantor Phillip Magness lead us for these sessions. We discussed the Lutheran understanding of worship – the Lord coming to serve us in Word and Sacrament. Freedom in liturgical forms and the importance of considering the context in which one serves pastorally were repeatedly emphasized. Because most participants serve in local settings where French is not the language of pastoral care and worship, they were encouraged to use the propers, prayers, and hymns as helps and
models for service planning and sermon preparation in their local langauges. We sincerely thank Blessed Savior Lutheran Church of New Berlin, WI and LCMS Office of International Mission for their direct support of this workshop.
More on this later. Francophone hymns and more.