One of the very shortest hymns in our Lutheran Service Book is found on page 582. The hymn, titled “God’s Word is Our Great Heritage,” consists of one verse.
“God’s Word is our great heritage And shall be ours forever; To spread its light from age to age Shall be our chief endeavor. Through life it guides our way. In death it is our stay. Lord grant, while worlds endure, We keep its teachings pure Throughout all generations.”
Knowing Christ and Living for Him through the Word
Everything in this hymn—and in life—centers on the Word of God. The Living Word, Christ, is our Savior. He is the one who has lived and died on our behalf. We know of Christ through the written Word, which God has given for our instruction and edification. In addition, the Holy Spirit works through the Word of the Law to convict us of our sins, and the Holy Spirit works through the Word of the Gospel to show us our Savior and call us into true faith in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit also works through the Word of God to guide us in our living, and the Holy Spirit uses that same Word of God to assure us and comfort us in the hour of our death. Aren’t we thankful that this Word is ours forever? Truly, we shall live with the Living Word Christ in the eternal and beautiful mansions of heaven.
Sharing the Word with Others
Certainly, the pure Word of God is a precious thing, but we should never keep it to ourselves. Not only is it what we need to hear; it is what we are privileged to share with all people. Indeed, we have been called to share the Word with all who don’t know it. And as the hymn states, “It is our chief endeavor.”
Protecting the Word from Corruption
A wise Christian has stated that the price of the pure Word of God is eternal vigilance. Why? Eternal vigilance is called for because Satan and the world would love to corrupt the pure teachings of God. In the process, the people of God would also become confused, corrupted and complacent. Dear Lord, keep us from such complacency. Dear Lord, grant each of us zeal for the pure Word of God, and gracious Lord, grant us the ability to keep its teachings pure for the sake of our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren—yes, and through all generations!