02 July 2007

Prefaces

LSB provides a choice of three prefaces that may be used on any Lord's day where the preface is designated "common." The first of these is the one that appeared in *Lutheran Worship* (...who on this day overcame death and the grave...), but it is the second of these that I find myself using most often for the beauty of what it confesses.

It proclaims our Lord Jesus Christ as he "who, having created all things, took on human flesh and was born of the virgin Mary." Thus both our Lord as the Eternal Word through whom all things were made and as the Word made Flesh is confessed upfront. Echoes of Hippolytus' anaphora ("who is Your inseparable Word, through whom You made all things...You sent him from heaven into the Virgin's womb") and it only gets stronger.

"For our sake He died on the cross and rose from the dead to put an end to death" - Hippolytus: "and when He was betrayed to voluntary suffering that He might destroy death..."

"thus fulfilling Your will and gaining for You a holy people" - Hippolytus: "fulfilling Your will and gaining for You a holy people."

There's much of Hippolytus that is left out, to be sure, but Common II (as LSB designates it) anchors all our thanksgiving to the Father in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, who made us, who took on human flesh from the womb of the Blessed God-bearer, and who entered death and rose again to destroy death's power thus gaining for His Father "a holy people." How could we not, then, join with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven in singing their endless praise: "Holy, holy, holy!"

3 comments:

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

A propos of our recent discussion, how do you reconcile the (perfectly correct) "who, having created all things, took on human flesh and was born of the virgin Mary" with "I believe in God the FATHER almighty, Maker of heaven and earth..." ???

love,
Anastasia

William Weedon said...

Anastasia,

I'm not sure I follow your question. What is to reconcile? The Blessed Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is wholly involved in creation.

"Through Him all things were made" St. John confesses of the Eternal Word.

"You send forth Your Spirit and they are created and You renew the face of the earth" sings the Psalmist.

The Church confesses that Creation is the work of God the Father accomplished through God the Son and by the power of God the Holy Spirit. The old adage comes in: opera ad extra indivisa sunt.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Exactly. Preeee-cisely. Well said!

And that is exactly and precisely the way in which we "reconile" John 5:22 and 1 Peter 1:17.

To wit, by this:

"Because He has appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom He has ordained;" (Acts 17:31)

And by this:

"I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." (John 5:30)

No conflict, no contradiction. Yet it is proper to ascribe creation to the Father and judgment to the Son.

love,
Anastasia