This joyful text covers the whole worship service: We approach God in humility, wishing to proclaim God’s majesty (st. 1). We see God’s presence in Jesus, whose name we bear and in whom we are justified (st. 2). We proclaim the mystery of Christ’s body: incarnate, crucified, resurrected, and present at the table (st. 3). Finally, we invoke the Holy Spirit, who makes us one and sends us out into the world.
Sing! A New Creation
What we know as the attributes of God reveal his character and being. For these, he is worthy of praise and adoration. Even before he says or does anything, he is praise-worthy. The opening words of Belgic Confession, Article 1 declare that God is “eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, unchangeable, infinite, almighty; completely wise, just, and good, and the overflowing source of all good.”
The Lord’s Prayer ends with a doxology, and Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 52, Question and Answer 128 extrapolates: “Your holy name…should receive all the praise, forever.” After expressing our trust in the total care of God for all things, Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26 declares, “God is able to do this because he is Almighty God and desires to do this because he is a faithful Father.” And so we express our praise and adoration to God for who he is.
This song contains a unique phrase in stanza 3 that the Lamb “teaches us by bread and wine the mystery of his body…” referencing the Lord’s Supper. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 29, Question and Answer 79, reflects on the mystery associated with the body and blood of Christ: “…he wants to assure us, by this visible sign and pledge, that we, through the Holy Spirit’s work, share in his true body and blood as surely as our mouths receive these holy signs in his remembrance, and that all of his suffering and obedience are as definitely ours as if we personally had suffered and made satisfaction for our sins.”