HymnSite.com's Suggested Hymns

Christ the King
Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Proper 29(34)
November 21, 1999

Unifying Theme:
Thanks and praise to the Almighty
who seeks us and rules justly

Scripture Theme Hymns
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 The Lord seeks us 267: O Love, How Deep
381: Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us
Psalm 100
Psalm 95:1-7a
Thanks to God
Worship God
62: All Creatures of Our God and King
73: O Worship the King
102: Now Thank We All Our God
181: Ye Servants of God
Matthew 25:31-46 Doing for the least of these 398: Jesus Calls Us
715: Rejoice, the Lord Is King
Ephesians 1:15-23 Christ, the head of the church 545: The Church's One Foundation
559: Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

Featured Hymn
Rejoice, the Lord Is King

Hymn #715
Words by Charles Wesley
Music by John Darwall; harmony from The English Hymnal
Tune Name: DARWALL'S 148th

It is Christ the King Sunday! How appropriate it is to recognize the kingship our risen Lord on this, the final Sunday of the church year. Last Advent marked the beginning of the year, when we began a symbolic walk through the life of Christ and the story of God's boundless love for us. With the end of the year, we reflect on a symbolic end of the faith journey, when we will no longer be limited to seeing the mere shadowy images of Christ's kingdom, but we will be there with Him, seeing and experiencing and enjoying them with Him face to face!

At the same time, we have to account for the opportunities that we have had to let the light of God's love shine through us throughout the course of this year. The story from Matthew in the Lectionary passages this week is particularly compelling as we reflect on the ministries that we have been called to share in. The Master gave us talents to use. What have we done? What do we have to show for our efforts? Who among the least of God's creatures have we served? If we were called before the throne today the way that Christ described in Matthew's Gospel, what judgment would be given? Even though I don't want you to tell me your answers, these are not rhetorical questions. They are very real questions that each of us should ask--and answer--ourselves.

This week's featured hymn was written by Charles Wesley (1707-1788). Although it is widely recognized as one of the most popular of his hymns, surprisingly little is recorded of its origins. It appeared, perhaps for the first time, in Wesley's Moral and Sacred Poems, which was published in 1744. Its themes are filled with praise and joy. Christ is triumphant. Christ conquered sin. Christ ascended the throne. Christ has all authority. Christ shall be the judge. Christ will share with his people in eternity. When we remember that Christ is our Lord, how can we help being overwhelmed with joy? Read Wesley's words and sing them as your own:

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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!

These are all of the words that appear in The United Methodist Hymnal. There are at least 2 additional verses to the hymn which appeared between 3 and 4. Here they are in full:

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.

Ah--there it was! "Pure seraphic joy." May this be the joy that dwells in your mind and your heart with the closing of the year. Rejoice! The Lord is King!

God bless you--
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Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.