December 06, 2022

Christmas and Advent Hymns and their Story

“Let the Earth Now Praise the Lord”

This hymn written by Heinrich Held [1620-1659], had the original title “Von der Zukunfft Christi” [loosely translated from German as “On the Coming/Advent of Christ”. The text is about God’s faithfulness to the sinful human race, the poet noting in verse 1 that “God has truly kept His Word.” by sending “Christ, the sinners help and friend.”
Jesus is named in various ways: as “Abrams promised great reward, Zion’s helper, Jacob’s Lord.” Jesus is also referred to as “Him of twofold race” – indentifying Him as both divine and human. Philippians 2:5-8 is undoubtedly referred to through this text when teaching about Christ’s humility. “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” This short hymn is packed full of references to the ultimate, perfect sacrifice, and fulfillment of the promise of our salvation in Jesus.

Let the earth now praise the Lord, who has truly kept His word
And at last to us did send Christ, the sinner’s help and friend.

LSB 352

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