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[Inner Wheel] > Isaiah 42 - Luke: A New Song unto the Lord

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This is an Inner Wheel or Cycle article. Click to read the introduction. This is an Inner Wheel or Cycle article. Click to read the introduction.

Spoke 20 - Resh

Isaiah 42 chain Book 42 (Luke)

Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands.

Isaiah 42:10-12 (Inner Wheel: Spoke 20, Cycle 2)

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. ...

The Magnificat, Luke 1:46ff (Bible Wheel: Spoke 20, Cycle 2)

The correlation between the 42nd chapter of Isaiah and the 42nd book of the Bible is astounding to behold because Luke is unique, not only amongst the Gospels but rather amongst all the books of the New Testament, in its musical style and the new songs it gave to the body of Christ. Here is how Philip Schaff described the unique character of the Gospel of Luke in his History of the Christian Church This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window:

[Luke] is the Gospel of poetry. We mean the poetry of religion, the poetry of worship, the poetry of prayer and thanksgiving, a poetry resting not on fiction, but on facts and eternal truth. In such poetry there is more truth than in every-day prose. The whole book is full of dramatic vivacity and interest. It begins and ends with thanksgiving and praise. Luke 1–2 are overflowing with festive joy and gladness; they are a paradise of fragrant flowers, and the air is resonant with the sweet melodies of Hebrew psalmody and Christian hymnody. The Salute of Elizabeth "Ave Maria", the "Magnificat" of Mary, the "Benedictus" of Zacharias, the "Gloria in Excelsis" of the Angels, the "Nunc Dimittis" of Simeon, sound from generation to generation in every tongue, and are a perpetual inspiration for new hymns of praise to the glory of Christ. No wonder that the third Gospel has been pronounced, from a purely literary and humanitarian standpoint, to be the most beautiful book ever written.

Schaff's Latin terms are the traditional names of the five songs derived from Luke. Schaff quotes Farar in his article as follows:

"Farrar (p. 23) calls Luke "the first Christian hymnologist" (better hymnist) , and quotes the lines from Keble: "Thou hast an ear for angel songs, A breath the gospel trump to fill, And taught by thee the Church prolongs Her hymns of high thanksgiving still."

Another example is this image is from the CD cover of "An Oratorio Based on the Infancy Narrative of Jesus according to the Gospel of Luke" by Cyprian Consiglio, OSB Cam This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window which alse explains his inspiration as follows (emphasis addded):

Song of Luke oratorio

Cyprian has created a brilliant new musical setting of Luke’s familiar infancy narrative. "What I have always loved about the Gospel of Luke," he explains in the program notes, "is that everyone seems to burst into song. There is a tradition that Luke may have been an artist, perhaps even the first iconographer, since he paints such stunning tableaus with his words, but most assuredly he was a poet and singer. That was my first inspiration to write The Song of Luke."

Luke's Gospel vigorously fulfills the command of Isaiah 42 "Sing unto the LORD a new song". Yes, let us sing!

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