Our God’s a River

Our God’s a River

Our God’s a river of matchless might, / a cataract cascading
With justice full and foamy white, / and mercy never fading.
The desert sands shall sing, / as bursting forth a spring,
The barren rock will bloom, / and flowers break the gloom.
Our God will bring us new life.

Like trees that grow by flowing streams, / held sure by their deep-twined roots,
Our leaves unwithered by sunbeams, / our branches yielding fine fruits.
We’ll not be moved by fear / for waters cool and clear
We have for finest drink / whate’er the rest may think.
Baptized, we are God’s saplings.

As Wisdom bids us come to feast, / her table set with sweet fare
So come we all from great to least, / and joyful find our seat there
While water roils to wine, / and wheat bakes bread most fine
Her breath doth prophets swell / and friends of God as well.
So Wisdom builds Christ’s body.

Festive organ interlude

Our hearts with living waters flow, / fed by God’s river gleaming
From cloud on high to dew below, / and through our midst now streaming
Each stole we lay with zeal, / another wound will heal
See rushing justice roll, / God’s church will be made whole
God’s Spirit splashes o’er us!

Text: David R. Weiss, b. 1959 (© 2004 David R. Weiss)
Tune: Martin Luther, 1483-1546, Ein Feste Burg (“A Mighty Fortress” Lutheran Book of Worship 229 – public domain)

Permission is given to photocopy Our God’s a River for use in worship.

Author’s Note: This hymn, written for the extraordinary ordination of Jay Wiesner in 2004, borrows the tune of anthem of the Reformation to musically evoke the reformation still happening today. The gospel text for the ordination (John 7:38) involved water, so this hymn’s imagery shits from “fortress” to “river” and borrows a variety of watery biblical images to celebrate the event: Amos 5:24 and Isaiah 44:3-4 (v. 1); Psalm 1:3 and Isaiah 44:4 (v. 2); Proverbs 9, Isaiah 55:1, Wisdom 7:27 and John 2:1-11 (v. 3); and John 7:38, Revelation 22:1, and Amos 5:24 (v. 4).

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