The liturgical calendar comes to a close with “Christ the King Sunday” on 25 Nov 2018. Another cycle begins with the season of Advent, starting on 2 Dec 2018.
“Crown Him with Many Crowns” is an appropriate hymn for Advent.
The word “crown” acknowledges Christ as King. However, this hymn depicts His kingship as different from one who has subjects to order around. By His life and teachings, Jesus imparted lessons of selflessness and obedience to God. His journey on earth led Him to the cross. His death as a sacrificial Lamb and His resurrection gave us life, peace and love.
The stanzas describe Christ as: “the Lamb upon his throne”; “the Lord of life”; “the Lord of peace”; and “the Lord of love”. It is in this vein that when we sing this hymn, we proclaim: “He is the Lamb upon the throne, the Lord of life, peace and love.”
If this is what we believe and proclaim, how are we changed by it?
In Simply Christian, N. T. Wright writes, “[W]orship makes you more truly human. When you gaze in love and gratitude at the God in whose image you were made, you do indeed grow. You discover more of what it means to be fully alive.”1
As we sing “Crown Him with Many Crowns”, may we grow in love and gratitude for God and discover how to be fully alive in Christ.
Crown Him with many crowns (The United Methodist Hymnal, #327)
Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne,
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing
of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless King
through all eternity.
Crown him the Lord of life,
who triumphed o’er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save.
His glories now we sing,
who died, and rose on high,
who died, eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.
Crown him the Lord of peace,
whose power a sceptre sways
from pole to pole, that wars may cease,
and all be prayer and praise.
His reign shall know no end,
and round his pierced feet
fair flowers of paradise extend
their fragrance ever sweet.
Crown him the Lord of love;
behold his hands and side,
those wounds, yet visible above,
in beauty glorified.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
For thou hast died for me;
thy praise and glory shall not fail
Text: Matthew Bridges (1800–1894), and Godfrey Thring (1823–1903)
Music: DIADEMATA, George J. Elvey, 1816–1893
1 N. T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2006), 128.
Judith Laoyan-Mosomos is the Director for Worship and Church Music at the Methodist School of Music, and a member of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church.
Picture by R_Tavani/Bigstock.com