Is He Worthy?

One common text in Easter music is from Revelation 5, the passage that contains the song “worthy is the lamb who was slain.” This Sunday, musicians at Peace will sing and play settings of this text dating back to Handel’s Messiah through contemporary songwriter Andrew Petersen.

Revelation 5 is John’s heavenly vision. He sees God the Father holding a scroll with seven seals. An angel calls out “who is worthy to open the scroll?” While we do not exactly know what the scroll contains, it is often thought to hold the key to God’s purpose and divine plan for all of creation. John is distraught because it appears that no one is able to open the scroll. But then, the answer comes. There is one who is able to open scroll. Jesus Christ, the lamb who was slain, by whose blood all of creation has been redeemed. And then the epic party breaks out through every layer of the cosmos as all proclaim: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive honor and power and riches and strength and honor and glory and blessing. Blessing and honor and glory and power be to him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever!”

Andrew Petersen’s “Is He Worthy?” is inspired by this scene:

Do you feel the world is broken? We do
Do you feel the shadows deepen? We do
But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through? We do
Do you wish that you could see it all made new? We do

Is all creation groaning? It is
Is a new creation coming? It is
Is the glory of the Lord to be the light within our midst? It is
Is it good that we remind ourselves of this? It is

Is anyone worthy?
Is anyone whole?
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?
The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave
He is David’s root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slave
Is He worthy?
Is He worthy?
Of all blessing and honor and glory?
Is He worthy of this?
He is

Does the Father truly love us? He does
Does the Spirit move among us? He does
And does Jesus our Messiah hold forever those He loves? He does
Does our God intend to dwell again with us? He does

I look forward to walking through this Holy Week with you all. All glory to God!

Jill Schroeder-Dorn, D.A., Director of Worship Arts

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