Of Old Our God Has Spoken

I wrote this song with my brother (Josh) for Advent 2014. It is sung to the tune of PASSION CHORALE (“O Sacred Head Now Wounded”). The lyrics celebrates Christ’s coming while the melody reminds us that his coming has a sober end. Notice how the borrowed imagery (and even some “stolen” lines!) from Bernard of Clairvaux’s original allows this advent hymn to evoke the themes of passion week.

Of old, our God has spoken
In many times and ways,
The promise of deliv’rance
To come in these last days.
O come, O come Emmanuel,
No longer may we roam!
Come now, our greater Moses
Part seas and lead us home.

By prophets God spoke to us,
proclaimed His truth to them.
The foretold king victorious
comes from poor Bethlehem.
O come, O come Emmanuel!
Reign o’er us, promised One!
Look on us with your favor,
Great David’s greater Son.

The angel spoke to Mary
The promise of the Lord.
She answered, “Let it so be,
According to your Word.”
We serve you our Emmanuel!
Your perfect plan applaud.
We magnify our Savior
Our hearts rejoice in God.

Our God speaks words so tender,
his angels burst with song.
The hopeless one’s defender,
the One who rights all wrong.
O come, O come Emmanuel,
The Hope of darkest hours.
Reveal yourself as Our God;
we joy to call you ours.

The One who spoke creation
by Word made stars and light,
Arrives by incarnation,
the Star of our dark night.
What language shall I borrow?
For in a manger bed
Now lies the newborn Savior
Now lays the sacred head.

Lyrics by Matthew and Joshua Westerholm
Sung to PASSION CHORALE (1601, Hans Leo Hassler)
(C) 2014 Matthew Westerholm

Here’s a chord chart: SONG – Of Old Our God Has Spoken


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