May 17: Psalm 47
The Ascension of Christ
Common meter double 86.86 D Azmon (O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing), p. 49
Forest Green (I Sing the mighty Power of God), p. 70 Ellacombe (Hosanna, Loud Hosanna), p. 130
All peoples, clap your hands for joy, to God in triumph shout;
For awesome is the Lord Most High, Great King the earth throughout.
He brought the peoples under us in mastery complete;
And He it is Who nations all subdued beneath our feet.
The land of our inheritance He chooses out for us,
And He to us the glory gives of Jacob whom He loves.
God is ascended with a shout, the Lord with trumpeting.
Sing praises unto God! Sing praise! Sing praises to our King!
For God is King of all the earth; sing praise with skillfulness.
God rules the nations; God sits on His throne of holiness.
The nations have assembled as the people of the Lord;
The shields of earth belong to God, exalted and adored.
The Ascension of Christ is not an afterthought, a sort of postlude to salvation. It is an integral part of the triumph itself; the crowning moment of the Lord’s priestly offering. The Ascension of Christ into glory is the object of biblical prophecy, especially in several places in the Book of Psalms (one of which is yesterday’s Psalm 24). One of the more notable places is Psalm 47: “God has ascended with jubilation, the Lord with the sound of the trumpet. O, sing to our God, sing praises! Sing to our King, sing praises!” This is an invitation to us on earth, a summons to join our voices in jubilation with the angels on high. The Ascension of Christ is the event where heaven and earth are joined forever. Our Psalm of the Ascension sends forth its invitation to all the peoples of the earth. By reason of His glorification, all of history and all of culture belong to Christ. All nations are summoned before His throne, to share His exaltation: “The princes of the peoples are gathered together as the people of the God of Abraham; for the shields of the earth belong to God; He is highly exalted.” The place on earth where heaven and earth meet is called the Church, which finds her very identity in the exaltation of Christ. The mystery of the Ascension leads immediately to the mystery of the Church, God’s chosen people. In glorifying Christ, God also “raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6). (Reardon, p. 91-92)