"Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty! God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!
"Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee, Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea; Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee, Which wert and art and evermore shalt be."
Do you love a good mystery? In a movie, a television show, or a good book, we like to join in, to participate in solving the puzzle. We piece together the clues and reason it all out. Certain that we have the solution even before the story's detective does, we boast, "I could write this stuff!" But then comes that unexpected plot twist that destroys all of our theories.
Our faith has mysteries of its own. We don't need to figure them out—even if we could—because many of these mysteries are revealed in Scripture. The apostle Paul liked to talk about mysteries, perhaps in response to the Greek and Roman "mystery religions," in which only those who were properly initiated were let in on the sacred secrets. In contrast, the apostle openly announces the mysteries of our faith, such as the mystery that is Christ in us, our "hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27b). It was a long-hidden mystery, now revealed by the Holy Spirit, that Gentiles are fellow heirs of salvation (see Ephesians 3:6). There is the yet-to-be-experienced mystery of the Last Day, when our mortal bodies will be dressed in immortality (see 1 Corinthians 15:51). Most wonderful of all is the mystery of our Lord's incarnation and exaltation, which Paul describes as "great indeed" (1 Timothy 3:16a). Even though these mysteries of salvation and immortality are revealed and proclaimed from the rooftops, we can only accept them on faith because such wonderful things can never be grasped by human reason.
There is another mystery, the wonderful and awesome mystery into which we are baptized, the Name of the Father and of the Son and of Holy Spirit. God claims us with His holy Name, the Name of the Holy Trinity. There are no clues we can assemble, no plot we can reason out, to understand how our great God is the thrice holy Three in One. We can only confess as we do in the creeds: "I believe." The Triune God who exists apart from time acted in time and history in Christ to save us. For that mystery we will give thanks and praise to our Triune God for all eternity, joining the saints and angels in endless praise: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" (Revelation 4:8b).
THE PRAYER: Almighty God, Three in One, we have been baptized into Your holy Name. By the power of Your Spirit, enable us to live as Your children, with faith toward You and in love and service toward others. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Holy, Holy, Holy," which is found on page 507 of the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Do you think people by nature look beyond themselves to some divine force or being that's in control of the universe?
2. What might praising God to start your day look like in real life?
3. How do you praise God in tough times?
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