Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Songs of Thankfulness and Praise

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."
Matthew 2:1-2

Today is Epiphany, the day we celebrate the Magi’s visit to see Jesus. Epiphany is a greek word that means “manifestation.” We celebrate God being manifest to us in the person of Jesus Christ. January 6 specifically recognizes God being manifest to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.

God was revealed to us in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. It’s still difficult for me to fully grasp that concept: God made Himself a man to live among sinful people. He revealed, or manifested Himself, in the form of a helpless baby born to Mary and Joseph in a stable in Bethlehem.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

We see God manifest in Jesus Christ first at the River Jordan where Jesus was baptized.

After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." Matthew 3:16-17

John 2, God’s power was displayed through Jesus’ first miracle – He turned the water into wine at the wedding at Cana. All through the gospels we see Jesus doing God’s will: healing, saving, rebuking and casting out the devil, bringing good from ill. God in man made manifest. God revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ.

Someday, as this hymn says, the sun and moon will be dark, stars will fall, and the Judge will appear. Someday, Jesus Christ as Lord will be confessed by all.

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

I look forward to that day! Until then, my prayer is just as the last verse of this hymn: that I would see Jesus through God’s word, that I would be made pure as He is, and that I would continually praise Him, God revealed to us in man.

Songs of Thankfulness and Praise
Words by Christopher Wordsworth

Songs of thankfulness and praise,
Jesus, Lord, to Thee we raise,
Manifested by the star
To the sages from afar;
Branch of royal David’s stem
In Thy birth at Bethlehem;
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in man made manifest.

Manifest at Jordan’s stream,
Prophet, Priest, and King supreme;
And at Cana, wedding guest,
In Thy Godhead manifest;
Manifest in power divine,
Changing water into wine;
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in man made manifest.

Manifest in making whole
Palsied limbs and fainting soul;
Manifest in valiant fight,
Quelling all the devil’s might;
Manifest in gracious will,
Ever bringing good from ill;
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in man made manifest.

Sun and moon shall darkened be,
Stars shall fall, the heavens shall flee,
Christ will then like lightning shine,
All will see His glorious sign:
All will then the trumpet hear;
All will see the Judge appear;
Thou by all wilt be confessed,
God in man made manifest.

Grant us grace to see Thee, Lord,
Mirrored in Thy holy Word;
May we imitate Thee now,
And be pure, as pure art Thou;
That we like to Thee may be
At Thy great Epiphany;
And may praise Thee, ever blest,
God in man made manifest.

1 comment:

A Dusty Frame said...

Thank you for sharing this!