Explanation of the Week
“Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king” (Prov 25:6-14). Rather, take the lowest position at the table. Humble yourself before Him. For your place is not for you to take but for Him to give. Conduct yourself with all lowliness and gentleness, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:1-6), that the King may give you glory in the presence of those at the table with you. “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:1-11). Is this not the way of Christ? He is the one who took the lowest place, who humbled Himself even to the point of death for us. He is now exalted to the highest place at the right hand of the Father that penitent believers may be exalted together with Him in the resurrection. To the humble at His Supper He says, “Friend, go up higher,” giving you His very body and blood for your forgiveness that you may ascend to take part in the great wedding feast which has no end.
Music at ORLC this Week
This week we will be singing #557 What Can Wash Away My Sin and #283 Jesus, the Very Thought is Sweet. We will also sing, O Come to the Altar for this communion Sunday.
Jesus, the Very Thought is Sweet is a very old hymn of the church written by Bernard of Clairvaux in the 12th century. Bernard is the lyricist for seven hymns in the Ambassador Hymnal. Some of them include favorites such as, the lenten hymns #71 O Sacred Head, Now Wounded and #82 O What Precious Balm and Healing.
Have you ever wondered why we sing old hymns? After all, the scriptures say, “Sing to him a new song.” (Psalm 33:3)
Well, what is the old song that Psalm 33 implies? Maybe it refers to Exodus 15, the Song of Moses. The Song of Moses is a beautiful song sang by Moses and all the people of Israel when they were saved from slavery in Egypt. This salvation, which the LORD worked out for His people was a historic salvation in two senses. 1) This sort of miraculous rescue was unprecedented. Never had so many people been delivered from slavery en mass in such a clear work of God. 2) Also, it is a historical salvation as a distinction from ultimate salvation. Historical salvations in the scriptures are important and pre-figure the final salvation that is to come, but it is just that, a shadow of the salvation to come.
The New Song in the psalms is often celebrated as the redemption of Israel from exile in Babylon. But what we see is that this is also a historic salvation. It is the second verse of the old song.
The New Song which believers join in singing is typified by Revelation 5:8-9. “And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”” (Revelation 5:9–10, ESV) And also, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”” (Revelation 5:12, ESV)
The New Song is about the final salvation that God has worked out for the world through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. So music that points us to the cross of Jesus is the new song. Whether that song is 2000 years old or two minutes old, it is the new song when it points us to the righteousness of God revealed through faith in Jesus.