Devotional Thoughts Based on the Glory to God Hymnal
“yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation.”
Ludwig van Beethoven is one of my favorite composers. I particularly enjoy his symphonies and piano concertos. As a singer every time I hear his Ninth “Choral” Symphony, I imagine myself in that choir singing the familiar strains of “Ode to Joy.” On my bucket list I would like to be a chorister singing in that great work and the hymn, “Mighty Lord, Hear Our Prayer” from Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. The music is so majestic and stirring.
The opening stanza is an allusion to Habbakkuk 3:18. The sole singer, “will rejoice in the Lord” and will exult in the God of (his) salvation. We the people joyfully adore God. We also realize that mortals and all creation will join in joyfully praising God.
The commentator in Glory to God has written, “The well-known melody was created to provide a choral setting for J. C. F. von Schiller’s poem, “An die Freude” (to Joy) as the final movement of the composer’s Ninth Symphony. The author, a prominent Presbyterian pastor and author wrote the words with this tune in mind.
O God, through the years, composers have written great and complex music for talented musicians to play and sing. You are also glorified by the simple songs of praise that children sing. Keep us mindful that all of us can make a joyful noise to the One who created us … giving us eyes to see, ears to hear, and dexterity to play all kinds of instruments. Above all, may our intent be to glorify, praise and thank you. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.