God Has Gone Up sets the verse from Psalm 47, which speaks of God’s great Ascent into the Heavens.
“Clap your hands, all you peoples shout to God with loud songs of joy. For the LORD, the Most High, is awesome, a great king over all the earth. He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet. He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the king of all the earth sing praises with a psalm. God is king over the nations God sits on his holy throne. The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God he is highly exalted.”
Historically, this verse recounts a joyous moment as God comes down to save the Jews from their enemies, possibly the Assyrians, and then goes back up to the heavenly realms, followed by the shouts and rejoicing of the people. As with all profound, ancient texts, the wisdom outlives the historical context. This passage resounds with exclamations of ecstatic joy as “the princes and peoples gather” together and celebrate the magnificence of a power greater than themselves. Interpreted in a more inclusive light, it is a message filled with hope for peace among all nations and it is in this spirit of universal solidarity that the music takes shape. This work was written to honor 50 years of service of the Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Northfield, IL.