"Lord of glory, You have bought us, With Your lifeblood as the price, Never grudging for the lost ones, That tremendous sacrifice; And with that have freely given, Blessings countless as the sand, To the unthankful and the evil, With Your own unsparing hand.
"Wondrous honor You have given, To our humblest charity, In Your own mysterious sentence, 'You have done it all to Me,' Can it be, O gracious Master, That You deign for alms to sue, Saying by Your poor and needy, 'Give as I have giv'n to you'?"
We are rightly awed by news reports of people who give their lives to save others. Members of the Armed Forces, first responders, perhaps parents or family members, or sometimes even strangers, die so that others might live. Even the apostle Paul wonders about such rare sacrifices: "For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die" (Romans 5:7). The psalmist also considers the cost of a life. He is concerned, not with an earthly tragedy, but with the threat of eternal danger: "Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice that he should live on forever" (Psalm 49:7-9a).
The psalmist, of course, knows the cost of a life and who alone can pay that price. "God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol" (Psalm 49:15a). The apostle Paul also knows, and writes, "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). The hymn echoes these answers in astonished praise: "Lord of glory, You have brought us with Your lifeblood as the price." Jesus shed His innocent blood to save us, but He never expected us to somehow become "good" or worthy before He died on the cross for us. While we were still sinners, "the lost ones" of the hymn, Christ died for us. Jesus willingly sacrificed Himself for the sins of the world, and now He continues to pour out "blessings countless as the sand" on all people, even "the unthankful"—and we sometimes find ourselves in that category—"and the evil."
Having redeemed us through His death and resurrection, Jesus now gives us the "wondrous honor" of being the beneficiaries of His countless blessings. As members of His body, the church, we are His eyes and hands and feet in the world. He, the Lord of glory, gave Himself for us. We now give our lives in service to Him, for in giving to others we are serving the Lord of glory. In response to what we have done for others, Jesus will say on the Last Day, "You have done it all to Me."
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, forgive us when we give our attention only to meeting our own needs. By the power of Your Spirit, lead us to give ourselves in service to others as You gave Yourself to serve and to save the lost. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Lord of Glory, You Have Brought Us," which is found on page 851 of the Lutheran Service Book.
1. What is it about "heroes" that empowers our actions? Do you think this term is used properly today?
2. How does the death and resurrection of Jesus satisfy God's holy wrath against the sins of the world?
3. Have you ever seen a courageous act take place? What was it and who performed it?
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