Play It One More Time
Isaiah 12:1–6 (ESV) You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day: 'Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.'”
We began the week of Cantate, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, with the Introit, "Sing to the Lord a new song, Alleluia!" from Psalm 98. As we prepare to join our voices in song in the Divine Service tomorrow, we return to this theme by glancing back at the Old Testament reading from last Sunday.
Isaiah 12 follows, obviously, Isaiah 11, where we learn: "There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord" (11:1-2). And before that, in Isaiah 7: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (7:14). These promises were fulfilled in Jesus!
Writing some 700 years before the Incarnation of God's Son, Isaiah had been given as clear a view of God's plans for the future as any of the prophets. Most significantly, Isaiah 53 recounts the sufferings of Jesus: “He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (53:5). Since Jesus suffered this on our behalf, the Father’s anger has been turned away and we can rejoice to know that the righteousness of Christ has made us right with God!
Isaiah foresaw the joyful gathering of the Christian Church in worship, especially accompanied by song, and this likewise is what St. Paul urges us to do: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:15-17).
Prayer: Almighty and everlasting God, You dwell in the heavens surrounded by angels and archangels and all the company of heaven as they offer their worship and sing, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth.” We thank You that You have united our voices with their unending hymn of praise. Of Your goodness You have blessed us with the gift of music to enliven our hearts and adorn our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Grant that by Your mercy we may ever glorify Your holy name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.