Part II in a Series by Pseudo-Ermatinger
Bergidyll Hans Dahl (ca. 1900)
The little of our Heavenly Father that we see in this world below is enough to cry out to Him Glory! — at least it should be. Creation cries out to Him unceasingly, praising Him for the sundry multitude and pluralform of its many and varied existences (cfr. Ps 19:1-4; Dan 3:52-90). We, who are a part of creation, far off from God doubly — from the expanse of the distance of His divinity to our humanity and from the gulf of our sins to His holiness — necessarily cry out to God as both creator and savior. That His countenance should fall upon us speaks both of His magnanimity towards His creation and His clemency towards those who, using His gifts, have betrayed Him.
On our path upward of the Mountain of the LORD where His holy Temple resides (cfr. Is 2:3; Mic 4:2), we are to praise Him and glorify Him by recounting His steadfast promises and His mighty deeds (cfr. Ex 15:1-21; Deut 11:19; Ps 68; Luke 1:46-55, 68-79), manifesting them in our memories and making them present in our lives. In doing so, we will encounter the very things of which are sung, for our Lord is the Lord of the living, not the dead (cfr. Ps 115:17-18; Isa 38:18-20). These recountings of the mighty deeds of the Lord are not simply history lessons and remembrances but the act of being joined to the living memory which weaves one’s own personal life into the greater pattern. If we cry out Alleluia, we cry it out, with all those who have sung before as well as all those who have yet to sing, in one voice of perfect praise (cfr. 2 Chr 5:14; Rom 15:6; Rev 4:9-11).
The ancient Jewish Ma Nishtana, “why is this night different from all other nights?”, sung during the Jewish Passover, is speaking of this night now not that night long ago. The events of the past are manifested in the present time so that what occurred to The People of the past are the events of The People of the present; they who are present now are present then. The Ma Nishtana finds its harmony and ultimate response in the reply of the Easter Exsultet, “[for] this is the night when Christ broke the prison bars of death”.
What more perfect is it to praise the Father who created us without us (cfr. Job 38:4) and had mercy upon our fallen state when we were yet still far off (cfr. Rom 3:35; Eph 2:13), chained in bondage and servitude of our sins (cfr. Eph 2:1-2; John 5:19; 2 Pet 2:19) than to praise Him by the means through which He brought to new life those who were dead in their sins (cfr. John 3:16; Rom 5:10)? We are saved because the Father sent His only begotten Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity (cfr. John 1:9-14), to dwell amongst us, not as Master, though it was His right, but as a servant (cfr. Phil 2:6-8), to meet the ingratitude of those tenants who would not pay their debts (cfr. Matt 21:33-40), with mercy and righteousness by becoming one with us in all things save our ingratitude (sin) to the Father (cfr. Heb 4:15, 12:24; Luke 23:34). Our faults would become His who had no-fault, and He who holds all things would pay the debt of beggars (cfr. Isaiah 53:5; Mark 10:45; 1 Tim 2:61; Peter 2:24).
Come let us adore Him, indeed.