Suggested Hymns

Fifth Sunday of Easter

May 10, 1998

Unifying Theme:
In God, all is new

Scripture Theme Hymns
Acts 11:1-18 Something new--repentance and resurrection into life for the Gentiles 303: The Day of Resurrection
373: Nothing Between
Psalm 148 Creation--all that is new--praises the Lord 139: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
278: Hosanna, Loud Hosanna
280: All Glory, Laud, and Honor
John 13:31-35 The new commandment--to love one another 384: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
468: Dear Jesus, in Whose Life I See
Revelation 21:1-6 The new Jerusalem 160: Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart
327: Crown Him with Many Crowns

Featured Hymn
Crown Him with Many Crowns

Hymn #327
Words by Matthew Bridges and Godfrey Thring
Music by George J. Elvey
Tune name: DIADEMATA

The setting is beyond our wildest imaginations. John, exiled on the island of Patmos, was in the Spirit when he saw and heard everything recorded in the book of Revelation. He was instructed to carry messages to "the seven churches." He was called inside the doors of Heaven. He saw the glory of God!

As the events unfolded before his eyes, heaven and earth passed away in the midst of glory and salvation, as well as tragedy and tribulation. But this was not the end of the story. There was more. A new Jerusalem descended, made in perfect form and constructed only with the most precious materials. There is something peculiar about this Jerusalem, though. There is no temple. But then, think about the first creation. God put no "temple" in the Garden of Eden, either. Why?

The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple! In the beginning and at the end, God's people worship in Him. The temples and sanctuaries built by human hands today are only places where God's people come together, or "congregate," and the people who meet there are called "congregations." With no temple, it seems to me that there will be no walls dividing us, and all people will be part of a single, great congregation--the people of God! May we always be congregations who worship in God alone.

This week's featured hymn was inspired by the words of Revelation 19:12: "His eyes are like fire, and on his head are many crowns." Matthew Bridges (1800-1894) originally wrote the hymn based on this idea alone. Later, Godfrey Thring (1823-1903) rewrote the hymn using other images from the book of Revelation.

1. 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. 

2. 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. 
3. Crown him the Lord of peace, 
whose power a scepter 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. 

4. 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 
throughout eternity. 

On "The Pastor's Page" for 9/13/97, Pastor Tommy Thompson wrote, "So a Roman Catholic layman and an Anglican Cleric coauthored a hymn about the place we call Heaven, where Christians of all denominations will bow before the throne and crown Jesus as Lord." Well said, Pastor Thompson! What could I add to that?

The tune, DIADEMATA, was written by George J. Elvey (1816-1893).

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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.