Michael Austin Miller

Writer, Composer, Conductor, Church Musician, Educator

 Hands of God

It does not get more Lutheran than this!!!   

  I composed Hands of God in honor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s

  25th Anniversary as a denomination and dedicated it to Wm. Chris Boerger for his service 

  to the NW Washington Synod as the former Bishop and former member of my

  congregation.  He is now the ELCA Church-wide Secretary.


  More recently, I created an orchestrated edition for the Installation of Timothy M. Smith,

  Bishop of the North Carolina ELCA Synod held September 12, 2015 at  Christ Lutheran  

  Church, Charlotte, NC.


God’s work. Our Hands.

  This tagline has been at the heart of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)  

  since its inception.

Gathering, Word, Meal, Sending.

   Lutheran worship is built around these for components. 

   When we gather to worship, we unite with believers from everywhere and every time.
   Nourished and strengthened in spirit, mind, and body, we are sent into the world to live

   out our faith as the hands of God. 

  Hands of God is appropriate for many Lutheran Festivals,
Hymn Festivals, and especially  

  Reformation Sunday. 

  I used the melodic pitches from A Mighty Fortress as a tone row to create the melody yet

  it sounds nothing like A Might Fortress until the hymn is sung later in the piece.

  The Verse and Chorus are singable, memorable, and the accompaniment is exciting and   

  very doable.  Singers can usually sing it after one or two rehearsals.

     

  Lyrics:

    We gather ‘round the water, the word, the wine, the wheat.

    Repentant and forgiven, from bondage we are freed.

    Singing songs of gladness, of mercy, grace, and love,

    Then we are sent from this place to be the hands of God.

    Baptized in the water, nurtured by the word,
    And fed at the table where bread and wine are served.

    Blessed to be a blessing with strength to heed the call,

    We are sent from this place to be the hands of God.

  Refrain:

    Hands of God, hands of faith, offering hope, offering grace.
    Hands of blessing, hands of love,

    we are the hands, the hands of God.

    From every land and nation, every tribe and every tongue,

    United by the Spirit, in Christ we join as one,
    With saints who’ve gone before us, whose spirits still live on,

    We are sent from this place to be the hands of God.

  (from Martin Luther’s A Mighty Fortress is Our God)
     If we in our own strength confide,

    Our striving would be losing.
    The righteous One is by our side,
    The one of God’s own choosing.
(refrain)