NOTE: To view lyrics for sacred music written from August 2016 through September 2017, click the tab First Lyrics above.

Fade to Black

Matthew 6:1-6

1.

Beware of practicing piety to please the crowd.
Helping others in need is not a show.
Truly, hypocrites are honored in public life.
They have their reward on earth, but not in heaven.
Give alms in secret, out of the public eye.
Only your Father in secret needs to know.

2.

Whenever you pray, leave the crowd behind.
Go quietly to your room and shut the door.
Turn your thoughts to God, who listens in secret.
He knows your every need before you ask.
Your fame will fade to black when the crowd is gone.
Give the glory to God and you shall live.

 

Copyright © 2017 David DeForest Baldwin – All rights reserved.

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The Parable of the Tares

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Each face displays the mark of God.
The People are charged to follow God.
But evil is present when life begins.
We are free to waste a life in sin.

The good and bad grow side by side.
Like the wheat and the weeds, we look alike
Until the harvest when the reapers pry
The wheat from the weeds on the threshing tray.

Until that day, do not prejudge.
Do not be so quick to judge.
We cannot know a person’s heart.
Only God can tell apart.

 

Copyright © 2017 David DeForest Baldwin – All rights reserved.

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Pilgrim

Come home, come home to the simple life:
Love God with all your heart,
With all your soul and with all your strength.
This is the first and greatest rule.

Come home, come home to the holy life:
Love your neighbor as yourself.
These two rules are all you need.
Everything else is explanation.

Come, pilgrim, come home to God.
Clear your mind of the cares of the world.
It does not matter how far you roam.
The road from home is the road to home.

 

Copyright © 2017 David DeForest Baldwin – All rights reserved.

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For Our New Pastor

(Editor’s note: Sing this anthem with enthusiasm!)

Today is a day of great thanksgiving!
Today we mark a new beginning!

Praise the Lord for a new beginning.
Praise the Lord for a new beginning.

Today is a day of deep reflection.
We’re taking steps in a new direction.

Praise the Lord for a new direction.
Praise the Lord for a new direction.

Your faithful servant is now in place.
Thank you, Lord, for your gifts of grace.

Praise the Lord for gifts of grace.
Praise the Lord for gifts of grace.

 

NOTE: This lyric is for the installation of a new pastor.

Copyright © 2017 David DeForest Baldwin – All rights reserved.

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Bless, O Lord, This House of Prayer

Bless, O Lord, this house of prayer.
We commit this church to your loving care.

 

We trust your Name is worshiped here
In truth and purity, now and forever.

 

Give grace and wisdom to the women and men
Who practice and pray the Great Amen.

 

Open, O Lord, our hearts and hands.
Let Christ within us be your command.

 

NOTE: This is written for a church dedication.

Copyright © 2017 David DeForest Baldwin – All rights reserved.

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Do Unto Others

How should you and I behave?
What is good? What is true?
Do unto others as you would have
Others do to you.

Going back four thousand years,
A sage proclaimed something new:
Do unto others as you would have
Others do to you.

For people of faith in every age,
Believers hold a common truth:
Do unto others as you would have
Others do to you.

In every nation around the world,
The tolerant seek to make it so:
Do unto others as you would have
Others do to you.

How should you and I behave?
What is good? What is true?
Do unto others as you would have
Others do to you.

 

NOTE: This lyric is for a children’s choir.

Copyright © 2017 David DeForest Baldwin – All rights reserved.

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When Jesus Saw the Crowds

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Matthew 9:36

When Jesus saw the crowds,
He felt the world’s pain—
For the sick, the blind, and the troubled
Trapped in the grip of demons.

When Jesus saw the crowds,
He felt the world’s sorrow.
He wanted to wipe away
Tears from every eye.

When Jesus saw the crowds,
He felt the world’s hunger.
The tired and hungry sheep
Looked up, waiting to be fed.

When Jesus saw the crowds,
He felt for those cut off.
He cared for the lonely leper
Banished from the village square.

When Jesus saw the crowds,
He felt the world’s bewilderment.
The people, longing for God,
Were given rules instead.

The people were harassed and helpless
Like sheep without a shepherd.
When Jesus saw the crowds,
He was moved by divine compassion.

The world has greatly changed
Since Jesus saw the crowds.
But we still have pain and sorrow;
We still have hunger and loneliness;

And we still have bewilderment.
The Gospel remains the same.
He is moved by divine compassion
For the crowds of the dispossessed.

 

Copyright © 2017 David DeForest Baldwin – All rights reserved.

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The Parable of the Wicked Tenants

Matthew 21:33-46, Mark 12:1-12, and Luke 20:9-19

Hear a parable! The Lord created a vineyard.
No other estate in the realm was quite so grand.
He planted a thorny hedge on the outer edge
To keep the thieves and animals from breaking in.
He built the perfect winepress for the grapes.
He raised a tower to house the vineyard tenants.

Before he leased the land, the Lord commanded
That the tenants care for the land and pay their rent.
He then withdrew to live in a distant land.
At harvest time, the Lord dispatched a messenger
To ask the tenants to pay the Lord a share
Of the produce. The messenger was beaten and sent away.

The patient Lord sent more messengers,
One after the other, to collect the promised rent.
But the result was always the same—all the messengers
Were beaten, stoned, or killed by the wicked tenants.
Finally, the Lord decided to send his son.
The Lord declared, “The tenants will respect my son.”

Instead, the wicked tenants seized the son.
They murdered the son and cast him out of the vineyard.
By this they hoped to gain the son’s inheritance.
The Lord was furious the tenants killed his son.
His patience spent, he vowed to purge the vineyard.
He expelled the tenants and gave the vineyard to others.

It was Jesus himself who said: Hear a parable!
The chief priests and the elders of the people knew
Exactly who the wicked tenants were.
They knew the messengers represented the prophets.
They knew what Jesus meant when he quoted the psalm,
The stone the builders rejected became the cornerstone.

 

Copyright © 2017 David DeForest Baldwin – All rights reserved.

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On the Freedom of the Christian†

I Corinthians 9:19-23, Romans 13:8, and Philippians 2:6-7

In ancient Macedon, Alexander’s tutor said,
A person is not a lord without a servant;
A person is not a servant without a lord.

The Apostle Paul turned that on its head:
I am free, the lord of all, subject to none;
I am a slave, serving all, subject to all.

The great example was set by Christ himself.
As utterly free as he was and lord of all,
He walked the earth and lived under the law.

Lord and servant are one through faith alone.
We are free, lords of all, subject to none;
We are slaves, serving all, subject to all.

 

†See Martin Luther, Tract 3, November 1520

Copyright © 2017 David DeForest Baldwin – All rights reserved.

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The Dullards

Psalm 94

The dullards say
God takes little notice of evil
Throughout the world, and does not care.

The ignorant dullards
Pour out their boastful, arrogant words.
They crush the people and soil our heritage.

The evil dullards
Murder the helpless widow, the orphan,
And the innocent stranger—without remorse.

The dullards claim
That evil is simply the way of the world,
That the God of Jacob does not perceive.

But only a dullard
Would think that God does not see—
The God who made the dullard’s eye.

Only a dullard
Would think that God does not hear—
The God who planted the dullard’s ear.

The God of Jacob
Sees and hears the way of the world.
The time is coming to school the dullards.

The God of Jacob
Will raise his people when the time is right
And give to the proud what they deserve.

 

Copyright © 2017 David DeForest Baldwin – All rights reserved.

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Don’t Worry About Tomorrow

Matthew 6:25-34

Look at the birds of the air
Who neither sow nor reap
Nor gather goods into barns.
Birds don’t worry at all.
The Lord provides their food.
Don’t worry about tomorrow.

Look at the lilies of the field
Who neither toil nor spin.
They dress in costly attire
More elegant than that of a king.
The Lord provides their clothes.
Don’t worry about tomorrow.

Birds give glory in song;
Flowers give glory in beauty;
If you will strive for righteousness
And give to God the glory,
The Lord will always provide.
Don’t worry about tomorrow.

 

Copyright © 2017 David DeForest Baldwin – All rights reserved.

 

First Lyrics

To see the lyrics written between August 2016 and September 2017, click this.

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