Tag Archives: rejoice

Again I Say Rejoice

Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and King adore;
Mortals give thanks and sing, and triumph evermore;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Jesus, the Savior, reigns, the God of truth and love;
When He had purged our stains He took His seat above;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

His kingdom cannot fail, He rules o’er earth and Heav’n,
The keys of death and hell are to our Jesus giv’n;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

He sits at God’s right hand till all His foes submit,
And bow to His command, and fall beneath His feet:
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

He all His foes shall quell, shall all our sins destroy,
And every bosom swell with pure seraphic joy;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice,
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Rejoice in glorious hope! Jesus the Judge shall come,
And take His servants up to their eternal home.
We soon shall hear th’archangel’s voice;
The trump of God shall sound, rejoice!

Words by Charles Wesley, 1744
Music by John Darwall, 1770

 


The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice! Let the farthest coastlands be glad.
Dark clouds surround him. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire spreads ahead of him and burns up all his foes.
His lightning flashes out across the world. The earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness; every nation sees his glory.
Psalm 97:1 – 6

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:1 – 2

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16


 

Everybody loves a celebration.  Some are looking for a huge blow-out, while others simply want a little recognition. My birthday is coming up in a few weeks, which of course seems like a good reason to celebrate. Now are we going to have a big party? Probably not.  But people will wish me Happy Birthday and I will appreciate the recognition.  Some may not consider this celebrating, but however you define celebration, it is a time of excitement and rejoicing.  This is the theme of Charles Wesley, “Rejoice The Lord Is King.”

The title and first lines sums up the whole point of the hymn, “Rejoice the Lord is King.” That is to say, we need to be filled with excitement at the realization that the Lord is King.  A message that draws our minds to Psalm 97:1 where we read, “The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice!”

The Lord as King is a theme that is found through out scripture. But we as Americans have a unique challenge in understanding what that really means.  You see, for Charles Wesley in 18th century England, the idea of a King was in the front of his mind.  He lived in a Monarchy where the King was the final power and authority, but for us, the concept of a King is very foreign to our minds. We live in a land where no one person holds that level of power.  So we must ask ourselves, what does it mean to say, “The Lord is King.”

For one thing, a king is a ruler for life. A reminder that God is not simply in a position of authority here and there. It is authority that spans from the time before creation and on through eternity. Beyond this, a king  is usually revered as the sovereign leader of his nation. So God is the sovereign ruler of all He has created. From this world and beyond, He is ruler. And more specifically, He is the absolute ruler over his people.

The Lord is King, the sovereign ruler over all creation. This could be a terrifying reality, but our God is not a malevolent ruler, but a God who cares for His creation. This is why Wesley writes that we are to rejoice.  And then, in an echo of Philippians 4:4, he writes, “Lift up your heart, lift up your voice; Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!”

The hymn concludes that our rejoicing in not simply that the Lord is King. We also “Rejoice in glorious hope! Jesus the Judge shall come, And take His servants up to their eternal home.” This is the hope that Paul wrote of in Romans 5:1 – 2 where he states that, “since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” We have peace with God and can come before the throne of our glorious King. We need not fear Him, for by grace we have been justified through faith in Jesus.

No, we need not fear God, rather we can rejoice that He cares for us.  We can rejoice that He has opened the door for us to know Him.  We can rejoice that He has provided the way to eternal life. (John 3:16) We can rejoice that He is King.  When this joy wells within us, we can not help but Lift up our hearts and voices declaring, “Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!”

 

 

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Good Christian Men Rejoice

Good Christian men, rejoice with heart and soul, and voice;
Give ye heed to what we say: News! News! Jesus Christ is born today;
Ox and ass before Him bow; and He is in the manger now.
Christ is born today! Christ is born today!

Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice;
Now ye hear of endless bliss: Joy! Joy! Jesus Christ was born for this!
He has opened the heavenly door, and man is blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!

Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice;
Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all, to gain His everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!

Words by Heinrich Suso, 14th Century
Music is a 14th Century German Melody

 


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Luke 15:8- 10

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:56


 

A couple of years ago my son was working on his Eagle project for Boy Scouts. Now while it was his project, meaning he did the planning and overseeing, there were a lot of us who did the physical work. Part of the job involved landscaping. Well, after a day of digging in the dirt and putting in new plants, I looked at my hands and had an alarming realization. I no longer had my wedding ring on. Needless to say, I was more than a little panicked .

I began retracing my steps to everywhere I had been. The problem is, I had been everywhere.  One of the scouts called his dad who had a metal detector.  He brought the detector and we continued to search to no avail.  I was becoming greatly worried.  I decided to run to the rental  store and pick-up a stronger metal detector for one last shot.  Finally after a total of about three hours of searching, we struck gold (literally). My son located the ring buried under a hasta I had planted. I was overjoyed with relief.  I had reason to rejoice because we had located something of great value, both financially and more importantly personally.  This feeling of rejoicing that comes from receiving something so important is a theme found in the old Christmas hymn, “Good Christian Men Rejoice.”

The hymn begins by calling us to “rejoice with heart and soul, and voice.” In other words, we need to rejoice with our whole being, rejoice in all we do, or as Paul puts it in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it always!”   Yes, we are to rejoice, but lest we wonder, why is it that we are to rejoice, the author answers immediately with, “Give ye heed to what we say: News! News! Jesus Christ is born today.”  Our rejoicing is in the birth of Jesus.

It was Jesus’s entry into the world that is the source of joy that drives us to rejoice. As the hymn continues, “He has opened the heavenly door.” It is through His birth that we can have what we could never find on our own . . . Salvation (Matthew 1:21).  It is through His birth that we may enter into God’s very presence. So the hymn continues, “Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!”

We rejoice not that a baby was born, but because God gave us the only means of knowing him.  The only means of salvation.  A precious unmatched gift. This is the rejoicing found in Luke 15:8 – 10 were we read, ““Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Our call to rejoice is not simply within us, but it is a reflection of the rejoicing in heaven itself.  For it is through this babe in the manger, that salvation came to earth. It is through Him that we have victory over sin (1 Corinthians 15:56). In light of this great truth, it is us who should truly “rejoice, with heart and soul and voice.”

 

 

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