Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. – Jude 24-25
It happened at my sister-in-law’s wedding. God’s people at Immanuel Lutheran Church in St. Charles, Missouri worship in an historical building dating from 1847. It has a tall steeple with an old-fashioned rope-pulled bell in the top. The ushers used to go through a door into the steeple itself to access the rope for the bell. I know this because my father-in-law thought it would be fun to take our son up to see the steeple, rope, and bell. I would have gone along had I known about it, by the way.
All did not go well – at least as far as being presentable for the wedding that day. Our son managed to get some black dirt on his white dress shirt somewhere in the process. He was unpresentable. So off to K-Mart and a short time later, new shirt replacing old and dirty one, he was once again presentable.
That’s not nearly as easy when it comes to being presentable before the King of the Universe, the Judge Eternal. He requires more than a clean shirt and shined shoes. Perhaps we don’t realize how significant it is to be presentable before God. It is likely that we are not even aware that we’ve nearly fallen – except that God intervened. We have only the faintest idea of the fullness of God’s great joy and ours in the presence of his great glory.
This is what God alone is able to do; and such is the sustenance of our hope. God’s great power turned toward our benefit and eternal good, his ability to justify us before himself justly form the foundations of our praise. God’s love, redemption, and grace are the bulwark upon which our faith is built. God has done great things for us. We are saved and secure in his salvation.
For all these reasons God deserves our praise. All glory, majesty, dominion, authority from eternity to eternity, now and forever are his. May his name be praised now and forevermore!
Postscript: A tragedy recently befell Immanuel Lutheran Church. The ceiling of the nave caved in (thankfully in the middle of the night). Work is being done to make repairs. See the story here if you’re interested.