LSB 362 O Sing of Christ
Interview with Hymn Writer Stephen Starke on Issues, Etc.
Interview begins at minute 29.
Listen to an organ rendition here.
Pastor Steven Starke composed O Sing of Christ
Artistic restoration works to clean, repair, and revitalize masterpieces that have suffered under the accumulated wear and tear, dirt and grime of passing years. Dust and dirt, oils from passersby, soot from candles, automobile exhaust fumes, and the like all accumulate to hide the beauty trapped underneath.
The original intent of the Artist is a key concern. Pastor Starke believed that excellent hymns recounting the events of Christmas already existed, but some of the themes tied up in the Christmas Readings were still longing to be explored in the poetry of hymnody. O Sing of Christ meditates on the Christ's Incarnation, God becoming "flesh and bone" for the very purpose of restoring human beings to their original intent.
Restoration work on Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes began in the late 1970's and was completed in 1994. The aims of the conservators were as follows: (Aims of the conservators)
- To study the frescoes progressively, to analyse any discoveries and utilise the appropriate technical responses.
- To record every step of the operation in archival reports, photographs and film.
- To use only those procedures and materials which were simple, extensively tested, not harmful, and reversible.
- To repair cracks and structural damage that threatened the stability of the plaster.
- To remove layers of grime consisting of candle wax and soot that had been deposited by the burning of candles in the chapel for 500 years.
- To remove repainting by previous restorers that attempted to counteract the effects of soot and other accretions.
- To remove oil and animal fat used to counteract salination of areas where water had leaked through.
- To remove crystalline accretions of salt that had whitened areas where water had leaked through.
- To conserve surfaces that were in danger of further deterioration because of bubbling, and flaking.
- To restore sympathetically those areas where deterioration of one sort or another had obliterated details and caused loss of integrity to the whole, for example, filling a bad crack and painting the plaster in a colour matching the original.
- To maintain in small defined areas a physical historical record of the previous restorations that had taken place.
God determined to roll back all of the effects of sin and death in one direct intervention. The first man's fall from God's grace passed brokenness right on down the line. Our broken human nature longs for restoration. Christmas executes God's restoration plan by putting the Perfect One, the God-Man, center stage. Jesus is the perfect image of the perfect God and looks to gather us all into His perfection. Jesus mode of restoration is a matter of dying and rising, but in that new birth we have a new family name and inheritance. The proof of the kindness of God is in his restoration efforts.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.
John 1:1, 4, 10-14
The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.