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ThisisOurSongofSalvation

Isaiah12:16(NKJV) Andinthatdayyouwillsay: OLord,IwillpraiseYou ThoughYouwereangrywithme, Yourangeristurnedaway,andYoucomfortme. Behold,Godismysalvation, Iwilltrustandnotbeafraid ForYah,theLord,ismystrengthandsong Healsohasbecomemysalvation. 3 Thereforewithjoyyouwilldrawwater Fromthewellsofsalvation. 4 Andinthatdayyouwillsay: PraisetheLord,calluponHisname DeclareHisdeedsamongthepeoples, MakementionthatHisnameisexalted. 5 SingtotheLord, ForHehasdoneexcellentthings Thisisknowninalltheearth. 6 Cryoutandshout,OinhabitantofZion, ForgreatistheHolyOneofIsraelinyourmidst! TheseareYourWords,HeavenlyFather.SanctifyusbyYourtruth.YourWordistruth.Amen. Dearfellowsingersofoursalvation,
RiteII/CommonService GlorybetoGodonhigh: Andonearthpeace,goodwilltowardmen. WepraiseYou,weblessYou,weworshipYou, weglorifyYou,wegivethankstoYou, forYourgreatglory. OLordGod,heavnlyKing,GodtheFatherAlmighty. OLord,theonlybegottenSon,JesusChrist OLord,LambofGod,SonoftheFather, Youtakeawaythesinoftheworld, havemercyuponus. Youtakeawaythesinoftheworld,receiveourprayer. YouareseatedattherighthandofGodtheFather, havemercyuponus. ForYouonlyareholy. YouonlyaretheLord. Youonly,OChrist,withtheHolySpirit,aremosthigh inthegloryofGodtheFather. Amen. RiteI GlorybetoGodinthehighest Andonearthpeace,goodwilltowardmen. AllglorybetoGodonhigh Whohathourracebefriended! Tousnoharmshallnowcomenigh, Thestrifeatlastisended GodshowethHisgoodwilltomen, Andpeaceshalldwellonearthagain OthankHimforHisgoodness!

WesingthesewordsoftheGloriainExcelsisonaregularbasis.Alsoknownasthe"greater doxology,"thisisthehymnofpraisesungnearthebeginningoftheDivineService.Christianshavebeen

singingitsincethefourthcentury.Anditgoesevenbackfurtherthanthat. ThisBiblicalsongbeginswiththeangel'ssong,announcingthebirthofChristinLuke2:14.The wholesongfocusesmainlyonthesavingworkofJesus,whohathourracebefriended! Thechurchisnostrangertosingingandoursinginghasapurpose.Wesingoutofthanksfor Godsgreatgoodness.GodsgreatgoodnessisoursalvationthroughJesusChrist.Wesingbecause youandIhavebeenpersonallydelivered,andwehavebeenrefreshedinthewatersofsalvation.

I.Sing!Youhavebeenpersonallydelivered WhatwearesingingaboutisnodifferentthanwhatIsaiahwroteandsangabout,becausethe situationforIsraelwasexactlythesameasitisforustoday. Isaiah,underinspirationfromGod,waslookingintothefuture,seeingwhatwouldhappen,sayingOnthat day,youwillsing.Buthewasalsofamiliarwithhisaudiencespast. HundredsofyearsbeforeIsaiah,thechildrenofIsraelhadbeeninslaveryinEgypt.Joseph,oneof thesonsofJacob,wassoldtoIsraelbyhisbrothers,andGodworkedthroughhimtosavehisfamilyand saveEgypt.Butanewpharaohbecameruler,whodidnotknowJoseph.Hesaid,Look,thepeopleofthe childrenofIsraelaremoreandmightierthanwecome,letusdealshrewdlywiththem,lestthey multiply...andtheyriseuptofightagainstus.Sohesettaskmastersoverthemtoafflictthemwithburdens. Butthemoretheyafflictedthem,themoretheymultipliedandgrew.AndEgyptfearedtheIsraelites!So theEgyptiansmadethechildrenofIsraelservewithrigor.Andtheymadetheirlivesbitterwithhard bondage.(Exodus1:814) Theirliveswerebitterwithhardbondage,forgenerationstheywereinslavery.Mostprobablyhada difficulttimeofevenimaginingwhatitwouldbeliketobefreeandwithoutabitterlifeandhardbondage. ButGoddeliveredthem.GodsentplaguestoEgypt,andonthefinalone,thenightofthePassover,the angeloftheLordwouldpassovereachhouseandkillthefirstborn,unlessthehousehadthebloodofa spotlesslambonthedoor.ThebloodofthelambwouldcauseGodsrighteousangertobeturnedaway fromthem.ThechildrenofIsraelweretobeready,forthatnight,theywouldbeledtofreedom.God deliveredthem. Goddeliveredthemonce,andHewasgoingtodeliverthemagain.TheprophetIsaiahknewwhat theirreactionwasgoingtobebecausethesituationwasgoingtobethesame!Theywereonceinslavery, buttheyweresoongoingtobefreed.IsaiahevenquotesthesongthatMosesandtheIsraelitessangafter theyhadbeendeliveredfromEgypt:TheLord,ismystrengthandsongHealsohasbecomemysalvation (Exodus15:2).Theirsongremainedthesame:wewereslaves,butweweredelivered.Wearenowslaves, butwewillbedelivered. Theirfuturedeliverancewasntjustsomethingthatmighthappen.Itwasntjustahopeful statement,somethinglikemakingawishwhenyoublowoutthecandleofyourbirthdaycake.This deliverancewassure,andthissalvationwasalreadytheirs,noconditionsadded!Thissalvationwastheirs,

eventhoughtheycouldntseeit.Thissalvation,prophesied2,800yearsago,isyours,too.Itsthesame, theconditionshaventchanged.Theirfuturedeliveranceisalsoyourdeliverance!Thisisoursongof salvation,too! Butwedeservednoneofit.Thisisoursalvation,butwetreatitlikeitsnobigdeal.Wearemore likelytotalkaboutourgooddeedsratherthanGodswondrousdeeds.Wegotochurch,buthowoftendo webringourthoughtsaboutoursalvationoutofchurch?DowemeditateonScripturethroughouttherestof theweek?Dowetalkaboutanddiscussoursalvationathomewithourfamilyordowewaituntilwegetto churchtospeakthefirstthingaboutit.WeshouldgladlyhearandlearnGodsWordbyreadingand hearingitthoughtfullyandregularly,keepingitinourhearts,livingaccordingtoit,andproclaimingitto others.1 Butwefail.Andwedontjuststopthere.InplaceofproclaimingtheWordtoothers,weletmany otherthingsflyoutofourmouths.WhereevenifwedidntspeakdirectlyofGodsworks,someonemay havebeenabletoseeourgooddeedsbyhowwetalked,weruinedit.InplaceofspeakingaboutGods workathome,wegossip.InplaceofproclaimingGodswondrousdeeds,weproclaimourselves. ThejoythatwehadonEastermorningshouldnothavebeenours.Byourselvesweshouldhave beencontinuouslystuckinthe40daysinLent,whenwerefrainedfromsingingAlleluias.Reminded constantlythatwehavenothingtogiveofourselves,thatthereisnogoodwithinus,thatwehavenoreason torejoicebecausewecantsaveourselves.WeshouldbeliketheIsraeliteswhowanderedfor40yearsin thewilderness,onlywewouldbewanderingendlesslyonourown.Godhaseveryrighttobeangrywithus andtoleaveusinourspiritualwilderness. WehavenoreasonforGodtodeliverus.ButGoddiddeliverus.Weshouldhavesufferedand died.ButGod,Jesus,sufferedanddiedandroseagain.Thisiswhywesingoursongofsalvation:notjust becausetherewasonceagoodmannamedJesus,butbecauseJesus,God'sSondiedandrosetosave us,whodidn'tdeserveit.AndHediditallwillingly.WhenJesusdiedonthecrosshecried,"MyGod,my God,whyhaveyouforsakenme."Jesuswasstrickenandsmitten,notjustbymen,butbyGodtheFather. HetookthefullblowofGod'sanger.Theangerwhichshouldhavebeendirectedatus,Godcausedtostrike downonHim. AndsoGodsangeristurnedawayfromus,andHecomfortus.Hehadnoreasontoliveaperfect lifeorsufferanddieforus,butHedidanyway.Godisyoursalvation,trustanddonotbeafraid.

II.Sing!Wearerefreshed Ilikeclassicalmusic.SoIlistentoClassicalMinnesotaPublicRadioeveryonceandawhile.If youhappenedtolistenlastweekend,youwouldhaveheardalotaboutEaster.Butifyouhadneverheard ofEasterbefore,youwouldhavehadahardtimefiguringoutwhatEasterwasallaboutbylisteningtothe radio.Ontheonehand,theyplayedmanyofBachsfamousEastercantatas,theyplayedHandels

ELSCatechism,ThirdCommandment,#37

Messiah.ThesetwoLutherancomposerspacksomuchgospelintheirpieces.Butontheotherhand,by listeningtothecommentary,youdthinkthatwhattheywroteaboutwassomevaguespiritualnotionwhich justhappenedtohelpthemtowritegoodmusic. BachandHandeldidntwritethismusicjustbecausetheyfeltinternallymovedtodoso.Isaiah didntcomposehissongfornoreason,andwedontsingfornoreason.Christhasrisen.Christhasdied andrisenforyoupersonally.Butthatisntwhattheworldsees.Theworlddoesntgetit.Theworlddoes notunderstandhowtheLordisourstrengthandsong,and...[our]salvation. Asachurch,wehavesomethinginfinitelygreatforwhichtothankGod.Godwasangrywithus,but HeturnedHisangeraway.Andnotonlythat,butHecontinuestoturnHisangerawayandgiveusHisfree gifts. Isaiahwrites,Thereforewithjoyyoushalldrawwaterfromthewellsofsalvation.Hefreely givesuswellsofsalvationfromwhichtodraw.Likeyourkitchensinkinyourhome(orifyouvegotoneof thosehandyrefrigeratorwaterspouts),wheneveryourethirstyyoucangetadrink.Wheneverweneedto berefreshed,wecandrawcomfort,forgiveness,life,andsalvationfromourbaptism,fromtheLordsSupper, andthehearingoftheWord.

Youwontalwaysfeelityouwontalwaysfeellikeyouarerefreshed.Butthatdoesntmatterits real.God,whoisyourstrength,hasrefreshedyouandgivenyouforgivenessinbaptism.Baptismwhich continuallydrownsyoursinfulnaturewhowantstoproclaimhimselfratherthanGod.Baptismwhichgives youthestrengthtoactuallyproclaimGodandyoursalvation.Baptismwhichburiesandraisesyouwith Christ,andmakesyouachildofGodandanheirofsalvation. ChristhasgivenyouHisBodyandBloodintheLordsSuppertobringyoutheforgivenessofyour sinstostrengthenyourfaith,toenableyoutoliveamoregodlylife,andtorefreshusandbringuscloserin fellowshipwitheachother.LikethebloodofthePassoverlambforthechildrenofIsraelwhichturnedaway Godsrighteousanger,thebodyandbloodwhichwereceiveintheLordsSupperturnsGodsangeraway fromus. GodgivesHisWord,aneverlastingfountain,pureandclean,streamingforthlifeandsalvation. WherevertheWordgoes,itwillnotreturnvoiditwillnotdryup.Likewaterbeingthemostbasicelement forlife,soistheWordofGod.Itisntjustidlewordsforyouitisyourlife!(Deuteronomy32:47). ThroughHisWordandSacramentsGodprovidesriversinthedesert(Isaiah43:19).Wherethis worldisdryandbarren,withoutanyhopeoflifeforus,Godprovidesthewateroflife. ThesearetheblessingswehaveastheChurch.Thesourceofoursalvationwillneverdryup.Itwill alwaysbethereforus.Whoeverdrinksof[thewaterofanearthlywell(Sychar)]willthirstagain,but whoeverdrinksofthewaterthat[Christshallgivehimwillneverthirst....[that]water[willbea]fountainof waterspringingupintoeverlastinglife(John4:1314)

WereinatimewhenmosteveryonearoundusopposesandoppressestheChurchanddespises theGospelasneverbefore.Theydontunderstandoursourceofsalvation.Andwewouldnteither,ifit werentfortheHolySpiritwhoworkedfaithinourhearts. Thisisexactlywhywesingbecauseevenfaithisagift.Oursalvationandeveryreasonwehave itthatfactthatJesuslived,died,androseagainthattheHolySpirithasworkedfaithinourheartsand thatwecontinuetoreceiveblessingsasachurchthroughtheWordandSacramentsthisiswhywesing. Andthisisthecontentofwhatwesingeveryweekinchurch. WedontsingtomakeusfeelhappyortomakeGodhappy.WesingoutofthanksforwhatGod hasdonethroughHisSon,JesusChrist...despitethefactthatwecontinuallydespiseGodspreachingand HisWord.WesingforwhatGodcontinuestodotodayinthelifeoftheChurchthroughtheHolySpiritand HisWordandSacraments. WesingtoremembertheseexcellentthingsGodhasdone,anddeclareitamongstourselves.And wealsowanttosingandproclaimitsothatthosewhodonotunderstandit,might.Whoeverhastasted thejoyofGodssalvationanddailysitsatHistablewillalsowanttodrawotherstotheLordandofferhis heart,hislips,andallthathehastotheLordsservice.2 TheGloriainExcelsis,likethesongofIsaiah,proclaimsGodsexcellentdeeds.Weareableto singitbecauseChristdidrisefromthedead,andfulfilledallthatwasprophesiedaboutHim. MartinLutheroncesaidthattheGloriainExcelsisdidnotgrow,norwasitmadeonearth,butit camedownfromheaven.3 WhereoncetheangelssangtheGloriainExcelsistoheraldthenewbornChrist, wesingitintheliturgytoheraldChristscominginWordandSacrament.AndtheChurchhasbeensinging ofChristscomingandChristsworkforagesIsaiahsangofChristscoming,andprophesiedwewouldsing ofHiscomingandsingoutofthanksforHislifeanddeath. ThiswastheIsraelitessongofsalvationbecausetheysangoutofthanksfortheirworldly deliverance,andtheywouldsingoutofthanksfortheirfuturedeliverance.Wesingoutofthanksbecause wehavebeendelivered.WesingbecauseChristhasdied.Christhasrisen.Heisrisen,indeed.Alleluia! Isaiahssongofsalvationisoursongofsalvation. Amen.

GlorybetotheFather,andtotheSon,andtotheHolySpirit,asitwasinthebeginning,isnow,andever shallbe,forevermore.Amen. OSingwithexultation,SingtotheLord,rejoice! AndinHiscongregationShoutwithtriumphantvoice! For,lo,atGodsrighthandIsChristingloryseated Withdeathandhelldefeated,AsvictorHedothstand.


2 3

Laache,341 DavidKind,AboutOurLiturgy,11

(ELH365,v.1)