April 03, 2013

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"Victorious God" and the "Exsultet" When Ian Eskelin and I were working on "Victorious God", we wanted to write something triumphant about the victory of God. I went right away to the liturgy for the Easter Vigil, found in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. These stanzas below are where we drew inspiriation for the verses: From "The Great Vigil of Easter", the Exsultet: Rejoice now, heavenly hosts and choirs of angels, and let your trumpets shout Salvation for the victory of our mighty King. Rejoice and sing now, all the round earth, bright with a glorious splendor, for darkness has been vanquished by our eternal King. Rejoice and be glad now, Mother Church, and let your holy courts, in radiant light, resound with the praises of your people. Here are the lyrics for "Victorious God": "Victorious God" words and music by Ian Eskelin and Glenn Packiam Verse 1 Rejoice For death has lost its power Rejoice Now the victory is ours O sing, you heavenly choir Come on, church, lift your voices higher Look what our God has done Rejoice! chorus Jesus, You’re the risen One Up from the grave you rose Jesus, You’re the reigning King You conquered all Your foes Victor—ious Victor-ious Victor—ious God Verse 2 Rejoice For God has come to save Rejoice The night has turned to day O sing, you heavenly choir Come on, church, lift your voices higher Look what our God has done Rejoice! Bridge Look what the Lord has done The battle has been won Here's the song: Here are the CHORD CHARTS (FREE!).
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What Do We Make of the God of the Old Testament? There is no escaping the fact that the Old Testament contains many troubling stories of violence, genocide, and even one famous story of God asking a patriarch to kill his only son. What should we make of all this? My aim is not to solve these problems. Such a goal is beyond my scope. My intent is far more modest. I simply want to suggest a few things that are often forgotten or not properly understood when it comes to reading the Old Testament. The first has to do with God, the second with culture and context, and the third has to do with how we understand the Scripture itself. 1. God Meets Us Where We Are The beauty of the God of the Scriptures is that He comes to where we are. The Biblical narrative moves rather quickly from creation-- the original and beautiful design-- to Fall: the fracturing of relationships between God and humans, humans and each other, and humans and their world. This fracturing has resulted in a separation from God and a severely impaired (or "totally depraved", depending on your theology) ability to know God. But it is often forgotten that when Adam and Eve sinned, God isn't the one hiding. Humans hide; God comes calling. And in saying that God comes to us, we must acknowledge that God is the one who condescends. He lowers Himself, comes into our world, speaks to us in our language. We will say more about this later, but this is the reason why we cannot take something God said in the Old Testament as the final word on a subject. Often, the Old Testament is the first word, the place God begins in His dealing with us. Take, for example, the famous (or infamous!) call for Abraham to sacrifice...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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