for the Advancement of Lutheran Worship in Christian Education
The Zahn family established this scholarship in 2015 in memory of Professor Meilahn Paul Zahn (1905-1982), who served as a professor of music at Dr. Martin Luther College from 1962 to 1977.
Professor Zahn grew up on a small dairy farm near Pickett, Wisconsin. He worked on the farm after finishing elementary school, and years later was persuaded by his piano teacher to attend high school. He enrolled as a high school freshman on his 21st birthday. His pastor saw his musical abilities and arranged for him to continue his high school education at Dr. Martin Luther High School, which led to college at DMLC. He was involved in all things musical in New Ulm and started a choir of 12 men called the Marluts (from MARtin LUTher), which became a fixture at concerts for several decades. He also earned the nickname Smilin’ Meilahn.
He served at St. Peter-Fond du Lac WI, Grace-Oshkosh WI, Trinity-Menasha WI, and Michigan Lutheran Seminary before he was called to DMLC, where he directed the traveling choir, taught conducting class, and served as music department chair 13 of his 15 years.
Zahn Scholarship winners are undergraduate students who demonstrate God-given abilities in music through the creation of a work that promotes Lutheran worship and/or Lutheran music education. The work may be musical, textual, visual, pedagogical, or technological.
The work will be judged in a blind competition at MLC, based on four criteria: purpose, application, creativity, and quality.
Molly Beth Hennig (St. John-New Ulm MN)
My submission for the Professor Meilahn P. Zahn Memorial Scholarship is an original hymn text titled “Here They Come—the Foes of Jesus.” The text may be used in any service setting and any Sunday of the Church year, yet ideally for the End Times and Advent. The text focuses on a Christian’s joyous expectation of the second coming of Jesus. The text is trochaic in meter in order to bring forth an atmosphere of confidence and importance. The rhyme scheme is a simple ABCB, ABCB.
There are few hymn texts that describe the happiness of Judgment Day, and those that do mix the text with a warning to be prepared. In the same way, many sermons that focus on Judgment Day lead us to fear Christ’s coming, perhaps not only for our safety, but also for the safety of our loved ones. As a result, I was deathly afraid of Judgment Day as a child, and I was gripped with the fear that my eternal soul was in danger at all times. My anxiety ended when my parents explained to me that my salvation was already taken care of by God’s love.
It is my hope that through this hymn text the message of Judgment Day may be realized as one of hope and not of fear.
————– Here They Come—the Foes of Jesus! Here they come—the foes of Jesus! Evil laughs upon the Hill. Once disguised as there to please us, Beasts arise from Hell to kill. I’ll not wince nor will I shudder As their hateful cries I hear. Every demon’s hollow boasting Is a mask to hide its fear. Look, he comes—my Savior Jesus! Every eye sees him above. He has hurled down the Accuser; He has triumphed! He is Love! See the Liar filled with fury, For he knows his time is short, And that he has lost his quarry To the blessed, holy Court. Here we are! The Throng of Jesus, Of which I am gladly part, Joins the Father, Son, and Spirit; Peace now comes to every heart! In His Home he ends all anguish– Such is when He comes again. Therefore, daily I’m proclaiming “Come, Lord Jesus, come! Amen!”
If you would like to establish a named scholarship, grant, or endowment at Martin Luther College—either need-based or merit-based—please contact Pastor Michael Otterstatter, vice president for mission advancement. He will guide you through the process. email@example.com | 507.766.2744