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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, April 2, 2020  

Today’s Hymn

Refrain
All glory, laud, and honor 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 blessed One. Refrain

The people of the Hebrews
with palms before thee went;
our praise and prayers and anthems
before thee we present. Refrain

“All Glory, Laud, and Honor” (vv. 1–2) by Theodulph of Orleans (c. 760–821)
Hymn 196, Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

Reflection
Based on Matthew 21:1–11, “All Glory, Laud and Honor” is a hymn that spans centuries. Originally attributed to Theodulph, Bishop of Orleans under Charlemagne (c. 820), and later put to melody by Melchior Teschner (c. 1615), it was translated into English by Anglican clergyman John Mason Neale (c. 1854). By way of all who carried it through time, it is significant in tying our Palm Sunday worship tradition back to the exuberant, joyful procession of those who heralded Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

“[To] whom the lips of children made sweet honsannas ring!” I pause to envision the children’s processional in our Palm Sunday morning service at Fourth Church and consider the theological perspective wherein Jesus encourages us to “become like little children” in open-hearted belief. Who can’t imagine the exuberance of a child? And what’s more, in joining the chorus welcoming Jesus, King of Israel and of all creation, I ground my faith in the restoration of harmony and unity.

In Christ, the King and blessed One, we are loved and are love. We are part of God’s kingdom and continuity. We are connected with Jewish brothers and sisters, with all people and all creation.

And yet what distinguishes Easter for us as Christians is precisely our experience of the Passion and resurrection. While we will proceed from here into the drama of Holy Week, Palm Sunday bookends the resurrection in the assurance of Christ’s triumph over all challenge and adversity, even death.

As we proceed to Holy Week, let’s start here and now, joining with all around us, with those who’ve come before and will come after, with the hearts and voices of children. We are not alone but together in God’s love and promise. Let our palms wave and hosannas ring!

Prayer
God of all time and all creation, help me join the chorus of children with open-hearted belief, to follow your way and be a proponent of your triumph in restoration and resurrection. In Christ’s love I pray. Amen.

Written by Laura Sterkel, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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