URC Daily Devotion 9th April

All Glory Laud & Honour

All glory, laud and honour
To thee, Redeemer, King,
To whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring!   

Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s name comest,
The King and Blessèd One.

The company of angels
Are praising thee on high,
And mortal men and all things
Created make reply.

The people of the Hebrews
With palms before thee went;
Our praise and prayer and anthems
Before thee we present.

To thee before thy Passion
They sang their hymns of praise;
To thee now high exalted
Our melody we raise.
    
Thou didst accept their praises;
Accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest,
Thou good and gracious King.

All glory, laud and honour
To thee, Redeemer, King,
To whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring!

Gloria, laus et honor, Theodulf of Orleans (c.750-821)
translated by John M Neale (1818-1866)
Rejoice and Sing Number
2018

Reflection

As a young child, my family had the New Educational Press ‘Bible in Pictures’ book. It was not easily accessible for me to read, but it did have the most beautiful paintings in them, and I used to look stare at the faces of the people some jeering and sad, others laughing and joyful. The picture that reminds me of this hymn, ‘All Glory laud and honour’ takes me back to my childhood, when I turned the page and saw Jesus riding on a white donkey and the people, men, women and children were joyful and waving palm branches.

This Palm Sunday hymn will be familiar for many people throughout the Christian world and will  probably sing this hymn on Palm Sunday. The writer of this ancient hymn, Theodulf of Orleans, approx 820 AD, based the hymn on Matthew 21:1-11 and the occasion of Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Theodulf had been arrested and was in prison when he wrote this Hymn of Praise, and then Louis the Pious, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire at the time, heard him singing this hymn in the midst of his imprisonment and was so moved that he released him, and proclaimed that the hymn should be sung every Palm Sunday.  

Looking at our world today, millions of people are imprisoned and live with chains of different forms, chains of abuse, addiction, oppression, persecution and injustice. We may think that this ancient hymn is out of place in a world that seems far removed from its original context, but is it really?

Reflecting on the picture I saw as I child, I want to look at it again
Was Jesus focussing on the agony that was surely to come or on the laughter and joy on their faces?

Was he full of anxiety or love and concern for the people?
Did he hear the cheers, or did he hear the quiet Spirit praising God within him.    

Quite rightly we need to balance our Praise with a mirror up to the world, or as Karl Barth writes ‘Take your Bible and take your newspaper, read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible’
Hope is the key to singing this hymn, we know the end story of Jesus fateful week, but in the midst of hopelessness, a clear voice of hope was to be heard.

It is

  • Hope which makes our faith real,
  • Hope that God will equip us with gifts to help others in their desperate times.
  • Hope that one day the Kingdom of God will be seen in all its fullness

So yes, praise God not just on the mountain top, but in the dark valleys, for there we see the Risen Christ.

 

Prayer

Lord
Be with me, as I praise your name in the midst of pain;
Be with me, as I praise your name in the midst of abuse;
Be with me, as I praise your name in the midst of injustice;
Be with me, as I praise your name in the midst of fear;
Be with me, as I praise your name in the midst of confusion;
Be with me, as I praise your name in the midst of death;
Be with me as I praise your name…. for ever and ever;
Amen

Today’s Writer

The Rev’d Ruth Dillon is the minister of Fleet  and Beacon Hill, Hindhead, URCs in Hampshire.

Bible Version

 

New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved

Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.