One Thing's Needful

1. One thing's needful: then, Lord Jesus, Keep this one thing in my mind; All beside, though first it please us, Soon a grievous yoke we find: Beneath it the heart is still fretting and striving, No true, lasting happiness ever deriving. The gain of this one thing all loss can requite And teach me in all things to find true delight.

2. Soul, wilt thou this one thing find thee? Seek not midst created things; What is earthly, leave behind thee, over nature stretch thy wings; For where God and man both in One are united, With God's perfect fullness the heart is delighted; There, there is the worthiest lot and the best, My One and my All, and my Joy, and my Rest.

3. How were Mary's thoughts devoted, Her eternal joy to find, As intent each word she noted, At her Savior's feet reclined: How kindled her heart, how devout was its feeling, While hearing the lessons that Christ was revealing; For Jesus all earthly concerns she forgot, And all was repaid in that one happy lot.

4. Thus my longings, heav'nward tending, Jesus, rest alone on Thee; Help me, thus on Thee depending, Savior! come and dwell in me: Although all the world should forsake and forget Thee, In love I will follow Thee, ne'er will I quit Thee; For Jesus, both Spirit and life is Thy Word, And is there a joy which Thou dost not afford?

5. Wisdom's highest noblest treasure, Jesus, lies conceal'd in Thee; Grant that this may still the measure Of my will and actions be: Humility there and simplicity reigning, My steps shall in wisdom for ever be training; Oh! if I of Christ have this knowledge divine, The fullness of heavenly wisdom is mine.

6. Christ, Thou art the sole oblation That I'll bring before my God; In his sight I've acceptation Only through Thy streaming blood: Immaculate righteousness now I've acquired, Since Thou on the tree of the cross hast expired; The robe of salvation for ever is mine, In this shall my faith through eternity shine.

7. Let my soul, in full exemption, Wake up in Thy likeness now; Thou art made to me redemption, My sanctification Thou. Whatever I need for my Journey to Heaven In Thee, I my Savior, is unto me given. Oh! let me all perishing pleasures forgo, And Thy life, O Jesus! alone let me know.

8. Where should else my hopes be centered? Grace o'erwhelms me with its flood; Thou, my Savior, once hast enter'd Holiest heaven through Thy blood: Eternal redemption for sinners there finding, From hell's dark dominion my spirit unbinding, To me perfect freedom Thy entrance has brought, And childlike to cry, "Abba, Father," I'm taught.

9. Christ Himself, my Shepherd, feeds me, Peace and joy my spirit fill; In a pasture green He leads me Forth beside the waters still: Oh! naught to my soul is so sweet and reviving, As thus unto Jesus alone to be living; True happiness this, and this only supplies, Through faith on my Savior to fasten my eyes.

10. Therefore, Jesus, my Salvation, Thou my One, my All shalt be; Prove my fix'd determination, Root out all hypocrisy: Look well if on sin's slippery paths I am hasting, And lead me, O Lord, in the way everlasting; This one thing is needful, all others are vain, I count all but loss that I Christ may obtain.

Words: Johann H. Schröder, 1697. Translated by Frances E. Cox, 1841, alt.
Music: 'Eins ist Not' Adam Krieger (1634-1666).
Setting: Fridrich Layriz, 1853, alt.
copyright: public domain. This score is a part of the Open Hymnal Project, 2012 Revision.

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