This evening, we welcome you to Part 3; to the conclusion of “the Power and Glory of God Through Music” concert series.
In 2013, part 1 represented the Power and Glory of God the Father.
In 2014, part 2 represented the Fount of Blessing that is God the Holy Spirit.
Tonight, for part 3, we honor the one whom we call Savior and friend, who was made flesh like us and dwelt with us; tonight we honor God the Son.
As we progress through the pieces tonight, we will see Christ as our Savior, our Shield, and our King.
Before Earth fell, there was war in Heaven: Christ and His angels fought against the dragon, and threw them out of heaven. And these aggressors were cast down to Earth, and brought with them ruin; devastation; and death. But Christ our King would not be content with merely removing Satan from heaven. He followed Satan to Earth, met him face to face once again, and beat him soundly and permanently.
The word “Pro-ee-lee-um” is Latin for battle, or conflict. The first piece this evening is a musical telling of the conflict that led to the necessity of humanity needing a Savior. The piece is structured around the Doxology; first in a somber tone as the discord in heaven grows; then the piece escalates in battle-like rhythm and tone as the war in heaven breaks out in full; finally, the piece ends with the full doxology resounding joyously in victory:
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Part 1 – Christ Our Savior
Lucifer became Satan and brought the darkness of sin into our home. Because of this, we are born into a lost world. If left to our own fate, we will suffer, we will parish, and we will die. But the Creator of this world loves His children with a perfect love. And this love does not allow the devil to win. Before creation began, the plan of salvation was established. A Savior would be made available for all who chose to be saved. That plan was, and is, enacted for us here and now. God the Father loved us so much that He allowed His only Son to die on our behalf.
Before Earth, the Godhead had been forever unified. There had never been a time when they were apart from one another. Now a member of that trinity was going to be removed from the union, and killed, so that created beings could have eternal life. An act of such selfless love is beyond the comprehension of any created being. And although we cannot understand how the gift of salvation works, we can be exceedingly joyous that it is a gift we can accept for free.
The following three pieces express the emotions of the saved. The joyous power of saved humanity will be heard in “Hymn of Praise” and “Alleluia.” Then followed by the prayer of people everywhere, “E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come.”
Part 2 – Christ Our Shield
We live in a war zone. A war that has been raging for thousands of years. A war for the most coveted territory in all creation: our souls. The forces we fight against on a daily basis are not flesh and blood, but principalities and powers. These are the forces to whom our allegiance determines our eternal fate. These forces of evil are much greater, and much stronger, then our frail human race in its fallen state can alone withstand.
But there is hope.
Like a weary traveler who, after a long and tiring journey, comes to a house of rest and comfort, we in our life-journey have Christ who offers us rest and protection. His power is greater than any evil we encounter, and through Christ our victory is assured. These next three pieces show Christ as our Shield, our Mighty Fortress. And although we may be in the darkest hour of our personal battle, from it we emerge victorious because Jesus is our Song in the Night.
Part 3 – Christ Our King
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow...” Upon choosing the gift of humble surrender, the thought of Christ our Savior shielding us from eternal death at the sacrifice of His life on the cross puts our plans and dreams in true perspective. All pride is laid in the dust. “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory and blessing.”
Christ is our king. He is the King of Kings. We are then left with this simple truth: When we survey the wondrous cross, we are left with only this to say: “Hallelujah!” “Gloria In Excelsis Deo!”
We do not serve a portentous ruler who demands the pomp and circumstance we expect of earthly royalty. Savior; Shield; King; these are titles we freely and gladly give to Christ because of who He is and what He has done.
But Christ is more than these grand titles alone. He is our Friend, our Companion, and our Brother. We do not rejoice that Christ was killed, we rejoice because He lives! We have life because He has given us life. We have joy because we are assured this world is not our home! He is coming like the glory of the morning! All that choose the life He gives are assured salvation. Sin will be no more and ALL of creation will once again be in complete and perfect harmony.
And so we come to the end of the concert; and to the end of this series that began three years ago, “The Power and Glory of God Through Music.” For this last piece on the program tonight, the audience is invited to join the musicians in singing the final chorus. The director will turn and indicate when we are to sing.