"Thine the amen, Thine the praise, Alleluias angels raise. Thine the everlasting head, Thine the breaking of the bread. Thine the glory, Thine the story; Thine the harvest, then the cup. Thine the vineyard, then the cup is lifted up, lifted up.
"Thine the glory in the night, No more dying, only light. Thine the river, Thine the tree, then the Lamb eternally. Then the holy, holy, holy Celebration jubilee. Thine the splendor, Thine the brightness, only Thee, only Thee."
We live in a very "me-centered" culture. The evidence is all around us and, unfortunately, within us as well. We often put our needs ahead of the needs of others. We often crave the attention, positive or negative, provided by our social media contacts. Sin turns us inward on ourselves. A favorite phrase is "It's all about me!"
But "it" isn't all about us, is it? It never has been. There is only One who can rightly say that. "It"—the world, its creation, its history, every purpose and intent, the Creator's grand design, and whatever else "it" may include—is about our Lord and God. Our hymn reflects on the singular glory that belongs to God alone.
The glory belongs to God, as does the story of our salvation in Christ Jesus. In Eden, God announced His plan. The woman's offspring would come to crush the tempting serpent. God formed a nation for Himself, a people among whom the serpent-crushing Child would be born. God spoke through His prophets and, when the time was fulfilled, He sent His only Son into the world to be our Savior. By His death and resurrection, Jesus, the woman's offspring, crushed the power of Satan, the ancient serpent.
In the God-given elements of harvest and vineyard, of bread and wine, we celebrate Jesus' death and His victory as He gives us His body and blood, given and shed for the forgiveness of sins. "Thine the glory, Thine the story." From beginning to end, the story belongs to God alone. It is not about "me." It is about Him and what He has done for us all. The story is about His grace, His undeserved favor for sinners (like "me"!). The story is about His love for the world and the gift of His Son.
"No more dying, only light." On the Last Day when Jesus returns, death will be destroyed as He raises us from our graves just as He was raised. Then, with all things subject to Him, He will hand over to God the Father the kingdom He has won, "that God may be all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:28b). We will join in the eternal celebration jubilee, crying out with all the saints, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb" (Revelation 7:10b). "Only Thee, only Thee!"
THE PRAYER: Lord God, help us to follow Jesus, living not for ourselves but for others, as He did. Guide and guard us until we join in the eternal celebration jubilee. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Thine the Amen, Thine the Praise," which is found on page 680 of the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Do you see a "me-centered" world when you look around? How do you address that in your own life?
2. It seems God's character and power alone would be enough to put Him front and center in our lives. Why is it we're so easily distracted with the trivial and mundane?
3. How does praising God help us take the focus off of self and direct it toward Him?
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