The Worship Quote of the Week for (04/15/2008):

A New Song before the Throne
What does it mean for us as believers to have "a new song of praise to our God"? How are we to follow the lead of the psalmist: "O sing to the Lord a new song"; or "He hath put a new song into my mouth, even praise unto our God"? Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is an excerpt from a sermon by Phillips Brooks (1867), preaching on a text from Revelation 14:3: "And they sang as it were a new song before the throne."

. . . Now let us look at this promised new song. We have seen that no man can learn it yet; still, we may know something about it, for it is to be the song of the redeemed. The condition of learning it is to be this--that a soul shall be "redeemed from the earth." The song, then, must be the flower of the perfected redemption. It must be the triumph of the complete work of Christ. And so we can tell what will be some, at least, of the elements that make it up.

First, there will be in it the saint's pure joy in the Savior's glory. In the condition of sainthood that will come first. The soul will rejoice for Christ before it rejoices for itself. The first use it makes of its crown will be to cast it at His feet. It will test its harp by striking it to his praise. As the first cry of the successful child is that the father will be pleased, of the successful scholar that the teacher will be honored, of the successful soldier that his country will be saved, so the saved Christian's first delight is not, as we are sometimes told, to find that he is safe, but to know that Christ has triumphed and is glorified.

And what will that glorification be? The ends of the earth shall have been gathered in. The enemies shall all have been subdued. Peace will brood like a great, deep, loving atmosphere over a whole harmonized creation. The plans of Eternity will be accomplished. The rounded and finished purposes of that wonderful Life and Death shall be all returned and held fast in the Savior's hands. His work shall not have returned unto Him void, but shall have prospered to complete success in the thing whereto He sent it. [There is a lot more there. Great stuff!]

--Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), THE NEW SONG IN HEAVEN (A sermon preached in 1867). New York: E. P. Dutton & Company, 1907, pp. 9-12. This pastor-poet is the author of "O Little Town of Bethlehem."

Have a great week,

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

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