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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

26 May 2007

A Pentecost Hymn

Upon the Plain of Shinar


Text by Walter P. Snyder, 1957–
Genesis 11:1-9

Suggested tune: Gottlob, es geht nunmehr zu Ende

  1. Upon the plain of Shinar stood
    The sinful heirs of Adam’s fall.
    They formed and fired bricks of mud
    To raise a town with tower tall.
  2. They said, “This tow’r and city bold
    Shall serve as beacons for our race.
    Their majesty our hearts shall hold,
    To cease our straying from this place.”
  3. Their wicked, vain, and prideful hearts
    The Lord condemned: “It shall not be.
    Your evil minds pervert fair arts —
    You think yourselves to be like Me.
  4. “This unity of sinful pride
    Has led you to deep shame and woes.
    Your evil efforts I’ve denied —
    Now turn, O neighbors, into foes.
  5. “Your tongues,” He said, “Shall speak no more
    What each the other comprehends.
    Your pridefulness I do abhor;
    Be banished to the earth’s far ends.”
  6. This curse upon our fathers’ pride
    Its full and fell intent achieved.
    Mankind was scattered far and wide
    And foreign tongues were ill-received.
  7. To join the scattered tribes again
    The Son of God took human frame.
    By bloody death, through bitter pain,
    He reconciled us in His name.
  8. Then came the time for Christ’s ascent
    To God’s right hand, His heav’nly home.
    The Holy Spirit Jesus sent,
    To grow and counsel Christendom.
  9. The Holy Spirit testifies,
    “Believe in Christ; be whole again.
    Forsake fore’er satanic lies
    And live as one with God and men.”
  10. Come, join in faith, each race and tribe;
    Sing praise to God, the Father wise,
    The Spirit, and the crucified
    And resurrected Jesus Christ.

 — W. P. Snyder © 2007
May not be used or reproduced without permission

Note: Genesis 11:1-9 is the appointed Old Testament reading for the Feast of Pentecost in Year C of the Three Year Lectionary.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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