“O Lord, How Shall I Meet You?” (ELW 241)
Our hymn was composed by the 17th century German pastor and hymn writer
Paul Gerhardt (1607–76). Although that was an era of Lutheran orthodoxy,
formality, and theological rigor (of which Gerhardt was supportive), the hymn
exudes warmth, a personal relationship with Christ, and the joyful expectation
of the Advent season. Moreover, it does not leap over the season into
Christmas. But with subtle restraint, it hints at what is to come.
As we look ahead to the celebration of the Nativity in the spirit of this hymn,
we are reminded of God’s abundant love, surpassing any other love we have
known. And as we contemplate that love, our delight in Christ’s coming to be
among us is kindled. We go forth in this season with confidence in the love of
God, which sets us free from sin and leads us onward in love for others.
“Kindle, Lord most holy, your lamp within my breast, to do in spirit lowly all that may
please you best.” Amen. (from stanza 1)