In 1993 we reflected on the grace of God which has come to us "unasked, unforced, unearned," (CW 54). In 2008 we marveled that "on the cross, as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied" (CWS 752). The next milestone for gospel-centered worship in WELS is 2024 when a new hymnal will be released. What will the world look like in 2024? The future "Class of 2024" is only seven years old today. Children whose first day of school is in 2024 won't even be born for another six years. What changes will you have seen by 2024?
We know one thing won't change. The grace of God displayed in Jesus Christ. We will always need his forgiveness. We will always need his love. We will always need his gifts.
Christ's church on earth has always been blessed by people who think not only of themselves, but of those who worshiped before them, those who worship with them, and those who will worship after them. For it is in worship that Christ himself approaches us to forgive our darkest sins and bring us a glorious hope.
How will this new hymnal project help a new generation of Christians to reflect on the grace of God? Time will tell. For now, we humbly undertake this project to bring glory to God and to proclaim Christ's saving name. We begin our task so that worshipers now and long into the future can both hear for themselves and proclaim to God and the people around them the saving work of Jesus Christ.