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HANDS OF GOD  Program Notes

The tagline, God’s work.  Our Hands., has been at the heart of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) since its inception.  In Lutheran worship tradition, services are built around four components:  the Gathering, the Word, the Meal, and the Sending.  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 Christian faith as the hands of God.  

The verse melody is primarily built around the same series of pitches as Martin Luther’s hymn tune Ein Feste Burg (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God).

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

If we in our own strength confide,  (from Martin Luther’s A Mighty Fortress is Our God)
Our striving would be losing.
The righteous One is by our side,
The one of God’s own choosing. (refrain)

  Michael Austin Miller

Writer, Composer, Conductor, Church Musician, Educator