Wednesday, 1 August 2012

New Hymn: We are People of the Kingdom

I've been enjoying the challenge over the last few weeks of preaching on subjects that folks in the congregation have asked to be dealt with.  We've covered giving, the Great Commandment, Hell, the Brutality of God in the Old Testament, and would Jesus recognise today's church?  (Light topics, I know!)

However, I've been keeping the last two Sundays, fittingly, until the end as I begin two weeks of preaching on 'Heaven'.  The first Sunday will be entitled 'Heaven:  what are we hoping for?' and the second Sunday will be 'Heaven: what are we living for?'   Basically, I'll be sharing the vision of the New Heavens and New Earth which writers like NT Wright so eloquently expound upon.

The interesting challenge came in trying to pick songs/hymns to go with the theology, given that much hymnology takes a 'sweet by-and-by', 'I'll fly away', 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot' type of theology.  So, unusually, I decided to write a hymn and I hope its decent enough to capture the biblical hope I'll be speaking about.

As I was writing, I simply became aware of the power of hymnology to help people 'Sing the Faith' and take teaching to heart...the Wesleys and Booths were on to something!

Its in 8.7.8.7.D Trochaic meter, which means you can sing it to tunes like 'Love Divine', 'Hydrofol', 'Blaenwern', etc etc but the tune I had in mind was the lovely tune that one would sing 'Here is love vast as the ocean' which is called 'Dim Ond Iesu.'  So...here are the words...sing up now!

1. We are people of the Kingdom,
We possess a glorious hope:
An amazing resurrection
Vast and boundless in its scope.
For the whole of God’s creation
Waits upon that glorious day
When He comes with liberation
And old things shall pass away.

2. He will come with His salvation,
And the dead in Christ shall rise.
Every knee will bow before him
When they see Him with their eyes.
Those whom God has sealed in Jesus,
Who have followed in His way,
Will receive the Father’s promise
On that awesome judgement day.

3.  Our New Earth and our New Heaven
Will come down at God’s command.
Then we’ll see the Holy City,
Made by God’s own mighty hand.
In our Resurrection bodies
We will live and move and breathe,
And the Lord will give us freedom
From the pain of passing years.

4.  In this new and glorious Kingdom
There will be no death or tears.
God will be amongst His people
He has gathered o’er the years.
Then the Lord will shout His triumph,
He will sound the loud ‘Amen’:
‘I’m the Alpha and Omega,
The Beginning and the End.’

5.  Until then, we’ll live for Jesus,
Pledge allegiance to His name,
Spread the word of life that frees us
We, His Kingdom, will proclaim.
For the whole of God’s creation
Needs a foretaste of that day
When He’ll come with liberation
And old things will pass away.

Words © Andrew M Clark, 2012.  All rights reserved.