SING PRAISE TO GOD WHO REIGNS ABOVE
Johann J. Schutz, 1640–1690
Translated by Frances E. Cox, 1812–1897
The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. (Psalm 97:1)
Following the Protestant Reformation, which was climaxed by Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 theses at the Cathedral of Wittenberg in 1517, Lutheranism became the dominant religious force in Germany and throughout much of Europe. In the 17th century, there was an important renewal movement within the Lutheran Church known as Pietism. The leader of this spiritual movement was a Lutheran pastor in Frankfort, Germany, Philip J. Spener (1635–1705). Mainly through small cell prayer and Bible study groups, he sought to influence nominal church people who had become accustomed to the dead orthodoxy that had overtaken the church. Spener taught them the meaning of inner personal faith in Christ and the demands that such faith makes upon the believer for holy Christian living.
One of the import…