Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lord I Lift Your Name on High

I was watching a video of a group of high school students singing this song and thought I heard a change in the words. Instead of "from the grave to the sky" I thought I heard "from the grave to the world." it was probably my imagination, but what I thought I heard got me thinking about this fairly popular song.

First I think "to the world" is better theology than "to the sky." Although the newer testament witnesses to Jesus' ascension, the story does not end there. The disciples of Jesus were sent into the world to be the Body of Christ sharing in God's mission of transforming the whole creation.

Second I thought about another phrase in the song, "our debt to pay." I do not subscribe to the substitutionary theory of the atonement, but I do believe that Jesus paid a debt, i.e., Jesus responded to God's love in the way that we ought to - "to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God." (Micah 6:8) What we owe God, the One who created us, and loves us, is precisely what Jesus offered to his Father. That debt he paid perfectly, but that does not let us off the hook. As communities of disciples we are called to accept the challenge laid before us by the prophet Micah and to offer "our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice" to God. We are called to share in the missio Dei, Christ's work of reconciling the world to God.

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