Hymns & Songs

Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

May 2012    

Rejoice, the Lord Is King (UMH 716)

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 heaven;
The keys of earth and hell
Are to our Jesus given.
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!

Text: Charles Wesley, 1746

HERE IS AN EASTER HYMN that is not among the hymns for Easter (see UMH 301-327) although it is No. viii of 16 hymns printed in 1746 as Hymns for Our Lord’s Resurrection. is hymn alludes to the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians, 15:51-57 where Paul tells the Corinthians about a mystery:

“Listen, I will tell you a mystery: we will not all die, but we will all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

For this perishable body must put on immortality. When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? e sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This powerful story inspired Charles Wesley to write this hymn. e hymn celebrates the Kingship of our Lord, the ruler of heaven and earth. It describes God’s kingdom: it will never fail because it is grounded on truth and love. All will bow down to Him when He comes again in glory!

Wesley used another theme from Paul for the hymn refrain. From Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice,” Wesley wrote “Lift up your heart, lift up your voice; rejoice; again I say, rejoice.” is is the short refrain that he used for the first three stanzas. On the fourth stanza however, Wesley returns to 1 Corinthians and brings the hymn to a close.

The keynote in this hymn is the short refrain “Lift up your heart, lift up your voice; rejoice, again I say, rejoice!” e Apostle Paul’s life as a Christian was difficult. He was persecuted by the people who were not happy with his preaching. People did all sorts of things to stop him. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-28, Paul describes his hardship. He was in prison, he received 40 lashes, he was beaten, he had been sleepless – he faced the daily pressure of his concerns of all churches. In spite of these, he was a joyful Christian.

Charles Wesley and his brother John had a difficult life too. ey received violent opposition to their ministry. With all the challenges they had to face, even in their relationship as brothers, they found joy in serving Christ our Lord.

Most of us experience difficulties in life. For some, life continues to be a struggle. Henri Nouwen in his book Lent and Easter explains that “For Jesus, joy is clearly a deeper and more truthful state of life than sorrow. He promises joy as the sign of new life … Jesus connects joy with the promise of seeing him again. Jesus makes it clear that joy is ‘His own joy,’ flowing from the love He shares with his heavenly Father and leading to completion.”

This Easter season, we rejoice. We lift our hearts and voices unto the Lord. We rejoice in the hope and promise of the resurrection!

Judith Mosomos is a Lecturer in Church Music at the Methodist School of Music.

Church Diary

Preventing stress and burnout
This workshop provides teaching on preventing stress and burnout, as well as methods for relieving stress.
May 6 (Sunday), 11.30 am to 1 pm Venue: e Unfailing Light,
49 Cuff Road Singapore 209756 Speaker: Ms Esther Tzer Wong (Senior Lecturer with the School of Counselling, TCA College)
Free admission. Register: Call Evelyn at 6293-7997 / email evelyn@kkmc.org.sg

Evangelistic rallies in Tamil
Organised by Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference (ETAC) Board on Evangelism, themed “Rest for the weary”.
May 11 and 12 (Friday and Saturday), 7 pm at Pasir Panjang Tamil Methodist Church
May 18 and 19 (Friday and Saturday), 7 pm at Sembawang Tamil Methodist Church
Speaker: Mr G. M. M. Mutu (from Tamil Methodist Church, Brickfields) Free admission. For more information: Call Rev Isaac Raju at 8189-9190 / email isaacraju70@yahoo.com.sg

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