Rev. Tim Koch, pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Linn, KS, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Lutheran Service Book #337, “The Night Will Soon Be Ending.”
Jochen Klepper wrote this powerful text while he was living during the beginning of the Third Reich in pre-World War II Germany. That context of growing despair makes the hope of the hymn all the more powerful. Although the darkness of sin, guilt, grief, and pain is all around us, Christians have true hope in the fact that Christ, who is the Light of the world, will return. His first coming at Christmas shone this invincible light into our world to give us this hope even now. That’s why we run to the light of Christ as He comes to us now in Word and Sacraments, knowing that He has come for us lost sinners.
“The Hymns of Advent” is a series on Sharper Iron that looks at a variety of the hymns found in the Advent section Lutheran Service Book. The season of Advent prepares us for Christ’s coming. The hymns of Advent teach that this is more than getting ready for Christmas; the Word of the Lord sung in hymnody helps us to receive Christ as He comes to us now in the means of grace and when He comes again in glory on the Last Day.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Lutheran Service Book 337
1 The night will soon be ending;
The dawn cannot be far.
Let songs of praise ascending
Now greet the Morning Star!
All you whom darkness frightens
With guilt or grief or pain,
God’s radiant Star now brightens
And bids you sing again.
2 The One whom angels tended
Comes near, a child, to serve;
Thus God, the judge offended,
Bears all our sins deserve.
The guilty need not cower,
For God has reconciled
Through His redemptive power
All those who trust this child.
3 The earth in sure rotation
Will soon bring morning bright,
So run where God’s salvation
Glows in a stable’s light.
As old as sin’s perversion
Is mercy’s vast design:
God brings a new creation—
This child its seal and sign.
4 Yet nights will bring their sadness
And rob our hearts of peace,
And sin in all its madness
Around us may increase.
But now one Star is beaming
Whose rays have pierced the night:
God comes for our redeeming
From sin’s oppressive might.
5 God dwells with us in darkness
And makes the night as day;
Yet we resist the brightness
And turn from God away.
But grace does not forsake us,
However far we run.
God claims us still as children
Through Mary’s infant son.
Text: The Night Will Soon Be Ending (Copyright: © 1998 GIA Publications, Inc. Used with permission.)
Author: Jochen Klepper, 1903-42
Translator: Herman G. Stuempfle, Jr., b. 1923
Arranger: Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1872-1958