A Mighty Fortress Is Our God


A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (EIN FESTE BURG)

You cannot celebrate the Reformation without singing Martin Luther’s most well-known hymn. Luther wrote both the lyrics and the tune to this hymn in 1529. They lyrics are actually a paraphrase of Psalm 46, expressing confidence and comfort in the Lord’s protection of his people. For our hymnal, we chose to use a harmonization composed by J. S. Bach, whose church music rose as a direct result of Luther’s worship reforms.

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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
does 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.
You 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 has 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.

4 That Word above all earthly pow’rs
no thanks to them abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours
thro’ 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.

Related:  The People's Work—A Reformation Recovery