The choir sang “The Only Son from Heaven” this morning as a communion anthem:The only Son from Heaven, foretold by ancient seers, by God, the Father given, in human form appears. No sphere his light confining, no star so brightly shining as he, our Morning Star. O time of God appointed, O bright and holy morn! he comes, the King anointed, the Christ, the virgin born. Grim death to vanquish for us, to open heaven before us and bring us life again. Awaken, Lord, our spirit to know and love you more, in faith to stand unshaken, in spirit to adore, that we, through this world moving, each glimpse of heaven proving, may reap its fullness there. O Father, here before you with God the Holy Ghost and Jesus, we adore you, O pride of angel host: before you mortals lowly cry “Holy, holy, holy, O blessed Trinity!”
2 thoughts on “The Only Son from Heaven”
Tim, feel free to erase this if it’s off topic, but you’ve indicated you’re teaching Romans again. You are already very aware of the caricatures of Israel’s understandings of righteousness/justification, but I was fascinated to read this from the Community Rule scroll (1QS Col. xi:2-15). The Yahad party (pre-Christian) saw themselves as the remnant of true Israel, so the ones who would bring justice to earth. This is part of one of their prayers:
As for me, my justification lies with God. In His hand are the perfection of my walk and the virtue of my heart. 3By His righteousness is my transgression blotted out. For from the fount of His knowledge has my light shot forth …
From His righteous fount comes my justification, the light of my heart from His wondrous mysteries…
Surely justification is of God; by His power 11is the way made perfect. All that shall be …
As for me, if 12I stumble, God’s loving-kindness forever shall save me. If through sin of the flesh I fall, my justification will be by the righteousness of God which endures for all time.
… by His loving-kindness shall He provide 14my justification.
By His righteous truth has He justified me; and through His exceeding goodness shall He atone for all my sins. By His righteousness shall He cleanse me of human 15defilement and the sin of humankind—to the end that I praise God for His righteousness, the Most High for His glory.
Michael O. Wise, Martin G. Abegg, Jr. and Edward M. Cook, “The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation” (New York: HarperOne, 2005), 134-35.
Just one passage, Allen, that makes traditional sorts of caricatures lack any sort of credibility. Thanks!