Hymn Parade – Holy, Holy, Holy

Bible Verses That Influenced Hymns

Holy, Holy, Holy by Reginald Heber (1826, England)

Why did John Newton remember the words of King David when faced with death in a storm in the Atlantic Ocean?

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! / Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee / Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty / God in three persons, blessed Trinity!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SHDNs7Dt5M

Revelation 4:8   Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”

Holy, Holy, Holy

Reginald Heber was a bishop in the Anglican Church of England. He wrote this hymn for Trinity Sunday but died unexpectedly at age 43 before the hymn was sung. His wife found the words and passed it on to John Dykes who wrote the melody in 1861.

Luther:  Paul, speaking of Christ in Hebrews 1:3, refers to Him as the express image of God’s substance. Again, in Colossians 1:15 he says of Christ: “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” We must take these words for what they say—that all creatures, even angels and men, are ranked below Christ. This classification leaves room for God only: taking away the creature, only God remains. It is one and the same thing, then, to say that Christ is the firstborn of all creatures and that Christ is true and essential God.

To make the matter as clear as possible Paul uses the expression image of the invisible God.” If Christ be the image of God he must be a person distinct from him whose image he is, but at the same time in one divine essence with the Father. He and the Father are not one person, but two, and yet Christ could not be the express image of the Father’s person, or essence, if he were not equally divine. No creature can be an image of the divine essence, for it does not possess that essence. To repeat, Christ could not be called the express image of God if he and the Father were not distinct persons; there must be one imaged and one who is the image.

Expressed more clearly and according to Scripture, one person is the Father, who in eternity begets the other; the other is the Son, begotten in eternity, yet both are equally eternal, mighty, wise and just.

Comments: hbitten@reverendluther.org

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