LSB 351 Creator of the Stars of the Night

We have selected LSB 351, Creator of the Stars of Night, as our seasonal hymn for Advent AD 2023.  Advent marks the beginning of the new Church Year.  It is a penitential time (a “mini Lent”) during which we reflect on our sin and need for a Savior.  The word Advent is derived from the Latin ad (to) in combination with venire (come). During this season we remember our Lord Jesus’ first coming into our midst and anticipate and reflect on His final coming on the Last Day. In our singing this hymn, we join our voices with those who have sung these words to this tune for at least the past 1000 years.1

Our hymn beautifully expounds on the Advent themes. In the first stanza, we beseech Jesus to save us and hear us when we call out to Him. By reminding Him that all was created through Him, we acknowledge that without a Savior, we are dead in our sin, and quite literally need Him to bring us back to life.2 And we have confidence that He can do it as He has promised! He is the everlasting Light of the world, the only One who can lead us out of darkness of death into the light of His kingdom.3 He is our Redeemer, who took on human flesh to die on the Cross and pay the price for our sin.4. In the second stanza, we begin by reminding ourselves that “the wages of sin is death,”5 and that in fact, Adam’s fall impacted all of creation.6 We affirm that our healing and cure, namely our rebirth from above, are found squarely in Jesus.7

In the third stanza, we remember that “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba! Father!’ ”8 He kept the law perfectly and fulfilled the Father’s will that He should die on the Cross to redeem us and all humankind.  As our Bridegroom, He has joined us to Him in Baptism, and given us all that is His, including His righteousness and Sonship.9 We respond to this in the fourth stanza, acknowledging that, having humiliated Himself for us and for the whole world, the Father has now exalted Jesus above all, that at His name, literally “God saves,” “every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.”10

In the fifth stanza, we confess that Jesus “will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead.”11 We pray that in our earthly lives as sinner-saints, He will continually rescue us from the evil one that we may live eternally in His kingdom.12 Having reflected on all that our Three In One Godhead has done, continues to do, and will do for us, we conclude with a doxology, namely a stanza glorifying Him.

As we begin the Church Year by remembering Jesus’ first advent and anticipating His final coming, we recognize that He continually comes into our midst in His Word and Sacraments, bestowing His forgiveness, life and salvation on us.  We thank Him for these gifts that exceed our ability to fully put into words, and for bringing you here to receive them in our midst.13 We pray His richest blessings on you during Advent and throughout the new Church Year.


  1. The words themselves have been sung for about 1200 years, see James L. Brauer, “Creator of the stars of night” in Joseph Herl, Peter C. Reske, Jon D. Vieker, eds. Lutheran Service Book Companion to the Hymns, Volume 1 (St. Louis: CPH, 2019) pp. 51-55.
  2. Psalm 51:10; John 1:3, 10; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 1:15-17
  3. Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:16; John 1:4-5, 9, 12, 8:12, 9:5, 12:46; Colossians 1:13-14; Revelation 21:23
  4. Ephesians 1:7 and others
  5. Romans 6:23a
  6. Genesis 3:17-19 (2:17); Romans 8:20.
  7. Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 53:5; Malachi 4:2; John 3:3-8; Romans 6:23b, 8:21; 1 Peter 2:24.
  8. Galatians 4:4-6
  9. Matthew 22:1-10, 25:1-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Revelation 19:6-9
  10. Philippians 2:9-11. The word humiliate is related to the word humble, which in turn is derived from the Latin humus, or soil. Thus, the Second Person of the Trinity humiliated Himself by taking on human flesh, which originated from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7, 3:19).
  11. Matthew 22:11-14, 25:11-13, 31-46; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 1:7, 20:11-15; Nicene Creed, Second Article
  12. Matthew 6:13, the Seventh Petition of the Lord’s Prayer
  13. 2 Corinthians 9:15

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