Skip to content

Christ, the Lord of Hosts, Unshaken (repost)

September 29, 2010
Raphael's St. Michael Victorius in the opening...

Image via Wikipedia

This article is a repost from 2009.

Today is the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels and because of that, I’d like to talk about one of my absolute favorite new hymns in LSB: Christ, the Lord of Hosts, Unshaken (LSB 521).  I have loved this hymn since LSB came out and cannot believe I’ve never written anything about it.  The tune (FORTUNATUS NEW), by Carl Schalk (b. 1929), is more commonly associated with Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle (LSB 454), a fantastic Holy Week hymn that was originally set to a great Plainchant melody.  The text for LSB 521 is by Peter Prange (b. 1972).

It is my opinion that this hymn, Christ, the Lord of Hosts, Unshaken, has the most vivid imagery of any hymn in Lutheran Service Book.  For some reason I’ve never played it in a service, but I hope to do so before too long.  Anyway, check out the imagery of the first stanza: Christ, the Lord of hosts, unshaken By the devil’s seething rage, Thwarts the plan of Satan’s minions; Wins the strife from age to age; Conquers sin and death forever; Slams them in their steely cage. This stanza, like the rest of the hymn,  is packed with vibrant images, especially how Christ slams Satan and his minions in their cage.  (As a side note, I think this imagery would make this hymn especially appealing to children because they can easily picture what is going on.)  Christ has not only beaten Satan, but has completely and utterly vanquished him.  There is no escaping or undoing Christ’s victory; it is absolutely certain and final.

Stanza two brings in Michael and the angels: Michael fought the heavenly battle, Godly angels by his side; Warred against the ancient serpent, Foiled the beast, so full of pride, Cast him earthbound with his angels; Now he prowls, unsatisfied. Again, such incredible imagery.  Really, this hymn could be made into a Lord of the Rings style movie.  Not to get too nerdy, but when I read that stanza I see something like one of the giant battles in those films.  However, there is one difference: in this battle, there is no question who will win, because Christ has already defeated the devil and his angels.  The outcome has already been decided.  Satan lost and was kicked out of heaven and now he roams the earth, seeking who he may devour.  This brings us to stanza three…

Long on earth the battle rages, Since the serpent’s first deceit; Twisted God’s command to Adam, Made forbidden fruit look sweet.  Then the curse of God was spoken: “You’ll lie crushed beneath His feet!” Indeed, the battle has been raging since the Fall into sin.  But God foretold Satan’s demise in the coming of His Son.

Jesus came, this word fulfilling, Trampled Satan, death defied; Bore the brunt of our temptation, On the wretched tree He died Yet to life was raised victorious; By His life our life supplied. Christ came into the world and destroyed Satan’s plans.  The devil planned to rule the world and thought he had won when Christ died on the cross.  But unbeknownst to him, Christ was taking the punishment for all the sins of all mankind upon Himself, dying in our place.  Christ then descended to hell to proclaim His total and complete victory, and finally rose from the dead on that first Easter morning.  Because He lives, we too shall live eternally!

And so Satan was defeated: Swift as lightning falls the tyrant From his heavenly perch on high, As the word of Jesus’ victory Floods the earth and fills the sky.  Wounded by a wound eternal Now his judgment has drawn nigh! No more can Satan lay any claim to us who have been bought with Christ’s own blood, washed in the waters of Holy Baptism and given faith to receive the forgiveness of sins.  Shelob’s belly has been ripped wide open and death is now merely the doorway to eternal life.

We pray: Jesus, send Your angel legions When the foe would us enslave.  Hold us fast when sin assaults us; Come, then, Lord, Your people save.  Overthrow at last the dragon; Send him to his fiery grave.  Amen!

Christ, the Lord of Hosts, Unshaken – Lutheran Service Book 521

1 Christ, the Lord of hosts, unshaken
By the devil’s seething rage,
Thwarts the plan of Satan’s minions;
Wins the strife from age to age;
Conquers sin and death forever;
Slams them in their steely cage.

2 Michael fought the heav’nly battle,
Godly angels by his side;
Warred against the ancient serpent,
Foiled the beast, so full of pride,
Cast him earthbound with his angels;
Now he prowls, unsatisfied.

3 Long on earth the battle rages,
Since the serpent’s first deceit;
Twisted God’s command to Adam,
Made forbidden fruit look sweet.
Then the curse of God was spoken:
“You’ll lie crushed beneath His feet!”

4 Jesus came, this word fulfilling,
Trampled Satan, death defied;
Bore the brunt of our temptation,
On the wretched tree He died.
Yet to life was raised victorious;
By His life our life supplied.

5 Swift as lightning falls the tyrant
From his heav’nly perch on high,
As the word of Jesus’ vict’ry
Floods the earth and fills the sky.
Wounded by a wound eternal
Now his judgment has drawn nigh!

6 Jesus, send Your angel legions
When the foe would us enslave.
Hold us fast when sin assaults us;
Come, then, Lord, Your people save.
Overthrow at last the dragon;
Send him to his fiery grave.

© Peter M. Prange. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License .NET, no. 100011479.

Advertisements
Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s