1. The Lord’s almighty power still protects us;
    His faithfulness means we have nought to fear.
“I long with all my heart to share your hours,
    I want to walk with you throughout the year.”
In spite of this, our hearts are still tormented,
    These evil days oppress the burden’d soul;
Oh give, to our unrested fearful spirits,
    Redemption you’ve prepared to make us whole.

Refrain
His power gives an overwhelming comfort;
    We wait in confidence, let come what may.
In evening and in morning He is with us,
    His presence is for ev’ry dawning day.

2. Although You give sometimes a cup so bitter;
    With sorrow filled, up to the highest brim;
We thankfully accept it; God has given,
    And only goodness ever comes from Him.
You always want to fill us with Your gladness;
    This worldly glitter burns our weary eyes;
We want to see the way that You have led us,
    And give our life to You, without disguise.
Refrain

3. The quiet candle, keep it warmly burning;
    You gave it when the dark was at its height.
So lead us, when You can, to be together,
    We always know Your light shines in the night.
When deathly silence seems to be encroaching,
    Oh let us hear with clearness ev’ry tone;
The unseen world is singing all around us:
    His children’s praise, ascending to the throne.
Refrain


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Congregation (Video) – from Germany



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The text of this song is an english translation of the German hymn, “Von guten M├Ąchten wunderbar geborgen” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the few Christians in Germany who dared to stand up and resist Hitler’s regime, and lost his life in the struggle.

…this was one of the last things ever written by Bonhoeffer, that has survived. It was written for his mother for her birthday, December 28, 1944. He sent it in a parcel to his fiancee on December 19th. There were two letters after that, and they disappeared, and it would be after the end of the war that his family would find out what happened to him. (source: Juliana Holm, United Church of Christ blog)

It is a shame and warning to us that the vast majority of churches are producing “chaff” which the wind blows away. Bonhoeffer was alarmed that most of the German Protestants bowed to Hitler and allowed him to take control of their teaching and practice, so as to bring it into line with his dictatorial plans. But so it is, most people are attracted to Christ just to save their lives. They hope somehow to have a good life here on earth, and a nice reward in heaven as well. But there is no room for selfishness in heaven.

Matthew 16
21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

This warning is repeated 4 times in the Gospels (Matthew 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, Luke 17:33), so that we should not mistake it.

Peter’s response represents the flesh, crying out for it’s own security. But the love of Christ demands standing for the right against evil, and putting one’s life on the line in defence of the greater cause of Truth. This was the whole principle of the cross, which Jesus bids us take up also.

Sin entered the universe by self-seeking, and it will be overcome by throwing self away. Bonhoeffer grasped this principle and was rewarded with the intimate comfort of God’s presence, even amidst his mistreatment and death.

The camp doctor who witnessed the execution wrote: “I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer … kneeling on the floor praying fervently to God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the few steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued after a few seconds. In the almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God.” (Eberhard Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Biography, p. 927)

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