A Mighty Fortress: The Hymn of the Reformation

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Did you know that besides being a courageous reformer and a gifted preacher Martin Luther was also a hymn writer and composer? In fact, he wrote over forty hymns! His most beloved hymn ‘Ein Feste Burg’ or ‘A Mighty Fortress’ has been translated into English several times. The majestic tune which Luther composed for his hymn fits perfectly with the triumphant words. If you haven’t heard it before listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XUYZoguhEQ  In the Finale of his Reformation symphony  Felix Mendelssohn included the tune of ‘A Mighty Fortress’ in a magnificent arrangement. You can listen to that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqdcnNYROLo

As you read, listen to and perhaps sing the powerful hymn, think of the difficult and dangerous life of the writer and the words will ring even more true.  ‘A Mighty Fortress’ is an amazing reminder of the all-powerful, victorious King who changes people’s hearts, reforms their lives and gives them the strength and courage to proclaim His truth.  ‘He must win the battle.’

 

A Mighty Fortress

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and pow’r are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us;
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly pow’rs, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth;
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

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  1. A Mighty Fortress is such a great, powerful hymn. I agree – and the melody fits right in 🙂
    I wonder what it’s like in German!

    Zach
    ZachPhilip.com

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