Bonhoeffer Quote on the Song we Sing

It is God who has prepared one great song of praise throughout eternity, and those who enter God’s community join in this song. It is the song that “the morning stars sang together and all the children of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7).39 It is the victory song of the children of Israel after passing through the Red Sea,40 the Magnificat of Mary after the Annunciation,41 the song of Paul and Silas when they praised God in the darkness of prison,42 the song of the singers on the sea of glass after their deliverance, the “song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb” (Rev. 15:3). It is the new song of the heavenly community. Every day in the morning the community of faith on earth joins in this song and in the evening it closes the day with this hymn. The triune God and the works of God are being extolled here. This song has a different sound on earth than it does in heaven. On earth, it is the song of those who believe; in heaven, the song of those who see. [50]On earth, it is a song expressed in inadequate human words; in heaven they are the “things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat” (2 Cor. 12:4), the “new song that no one could learn, except the 144,000” (Rev. 14:3),43 the song to which the “harps of God” are played (Rev. 15:2).44 What do we know of that new song and the harps of God? Our new song is an earthly song, a song of pilgrims and sojourners on whom the Word of God has dawned to light their way. Our earthly song is bound to God’s Word of revelation in Jesus Christ. It is the simple song of the children of this earth who have been called to be God’s children, not ecstatic, not enraptured, but soberly, gratefully, devoutly focused on God’s revealed Word

Dietrich Bonheoffer, Life Together, p. 65.

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