Praise God in his kingdoms, extol him in his honors, acclaim him in his splendor. Seek to express his praise rightly when with assembled choirs you make a song to his honor! ~ J. S. Bach, Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen
This cantata captures the strange mixture of joy and sadness with which Christ’s disciples were (and are) faced in his Ascension.
On the one hand, our Lord takes possession of his heavenly throne; on the other, he leaves us on earth to cope with kingdoms of unbelief, afflicted by devils, confusions of tongues, serpents, and other deadly things.
Yet Christ does not leave us alone! “It is expedient that I go,” he explains, “for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (Jn. 16:7).
As we pursue our mission to teach all nations to observe the Lord’s commands (Mt. 28:19-20), it is none other than the Holy Ghost, God himself living in our souls, who enables us to “convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment” (Jn. 16:8).
Awaiting the commemoration of the Paraclete’s first coming, let us renew our dedication to the joyful work of his kingdom, that one day we may share in his unalloyed glory, singing an eternal song to his honor!
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