God Loved the World (ELW 323, focus on verse 5)
1 God loved the world so that he gave
his only Son the lost to save,
that all who would in Him believe
should everlasting life receive.
2 Christ Jesus is the ground of faith,
who was made flesh and suffered death;
all who confide in Christ alone
are built on this chief cornerstone.
3 If you are ill, if death draws near,
this truth your troubled heart can cheer:
Christ Jesus rescues us from death;
that is the firmest ground of faith.
4 Be of good cheer, for God’s own Son
forgives all sins that you have done,
and justified by Jesus’ blood,
your baptism grants the highest good.
5 All glory to the Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit, Three in One!
To you, O blessed Trinity,
be praise now and eternally!
Palm Sunday has arrived. We have ridden the volatile rollercoaster of Jesus’ week. He began with the roar of the adoring crowd. He ended with the whispers of traitors and shouts of executioners.
Many worship services will lift up both of these emotional realities today. Many services will begin with a parade of children waving palm branches, singing “Hosanna,” and end with a reader’s theater shouting “Crucify Him!”
As human beings, we often swing through this full spectrum on a daily basis. Our love is often fickle, flimsy, and faltering. With God it is not so. Focus your attention on the final stanza of our hymn. It celebrates the essence of God. As Christians, we worship the God whose essence is Three Persons interdependently connected in love:
Crowds are fickle. Our love is flimsy. God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Thanks be to God!
Blessed Trinity–Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer–draw us up within your flow of love today. May we be so filled with your love that we are able to bear our grief and trust in your faithfulness. Amen.