The Worship Quote of the Week for (11/07/2006):

Worthy Is the Lamb!
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is a passage of Scripture that reveals a picture of exuberant sung worship around the throne of the God. This is the text that was chosen as the final movement for Handel's beloved oratorio MESSIAH.

Please see the November 14 concert invitation at the bottom of this note:
Handel's MESSIAH and Stravinsky's SYMPHONY OF PSALMS.

Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?" And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, "Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals."

And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,

"Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood
you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language
and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom
and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth."

Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,

"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth
and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!"

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

"To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory
and might forever and ever!"

And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped.

—Revelation 5:1-14, THE HOLY BIBLE: ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION. Wheaton: Good News Publishers, 2001.

[As I was working on the program notes for next week's concert of MESSIAH, I was reminded that Handel's music was not viewed as appropriate church music by his mid-eighteenth-century contemporaries. The oratorio was written as modern sacred entertainment, performed in theaters for paying audiences. I find that very interesting—a clear indication that musical styles, instrumentation, and the heart-language of Christian worship are ever changing. However, we see some things in the scene of heavenly worship (Rev. 5) that will never change: the worship of the God will never be outdated, and there will never be a better song than the one that honors the Lamb who was slain. Amen!]

FREE CONCERT in Louisville, Kentucky, November 14, 2006, 7:30 P.M.
Handel's MESSIAH (Parts 1 & 3) and Stravinsky's SYMPHONY OF PSALMS
performed by the Oratorio Chorus and Seminary Orchestra, Carl Stam, conductor.
For more information, please see the color web flyer available at
Please forward this to your friends who live near Louisville and who may be interested in a free concert like this. Thank you very much.

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view a complete
index of worship quotes, please visit