Devotional Thoughts Based on the Glory to God Hymnal
“Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!”
Several years ago, we wanted to enrich our worship during Eastertide. Instead of singing the Gloria Patri following the Assurance of Pardon, we decided to add this hymn as the choral response to God’s grace and mercy. At the time, this hymn was probably unfamiliar to most of our members. It did not take long for the congregation to learn the hymn and to sing it with joy.
When we remove the geographical references to Zion, Israel and Jerusalem, what we are left with at the core is the summons “to rejoice and exult with all your heart.” Zephaniah 3:14 alludes to “giving thanks and praising God” that is especially evident in the fourth stanza:
“Come, let us praise the living God, joyfully sing to our Savior. Alleluia, alleluia! Give thanks to the risen Lord, alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his name.”
Yes, this is indeed a fitting choral response to the Assurance of Pardon especially during the season of Easter. The “alleluias,” that disappeared at the beginning of and continuing through Lent, return. It is a glorious hymn of praise then to be sung throughout the Easter season.
Lord of life, every day is a day to offer you our thanks and praise. Let us always joyfully sing: “Alleluia, alleluia! Give thanks to the risen Lord, alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his name.” In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.
~ Alan Harvey