Featured Hymns-Ponte Sant' Angelo Methodist Church

Featured Hymns

                             18 August 2019

Rejoice, the Lord Is King

Words by Charles Wesley
Music by John Darwall
Tune Name: DARWALL'S 148th

Some of the scriptures in the Revised Common Lectionary this week aren't all that uplifting. In fact, some of them are downright depressing! What do we do with scriptures of doom and gloom? What kinds of songs are in our hearts when we read about trampled vineyards, false prophets, and judgment against God's people? Are they happy songs? Not usually! Even the Psalmist seems short on words of joy this week.

John and Charles Wesley were ministers in the Church of England. People looked to them for leadership and for guidance. John in particular is recognized as the founder of the Methodist movement. This did not happen without controversy, though. Whether it involved the question of free will, the authority within the church to ordain ministers, or other issues, John continually found himself at odds with the hierarchy and other leaders in the Church of England. In such a conflicted environment, how could John avoid some of the same feelings of despair expressed by the prophets and the Psalmist?

Charles, too, experienced difficulties in his ministry and a downcast spirit. With his brother John, he had gone to the Americas to work in the mission field. It wasn't long before Charles sailed back to England, discouraged and disillusioned, and John followed shortly afterward.

Things had not started well for either of the Wesleys. Nevertheless, they continued to seek the Lord. Are you ready for some scripture? Try, "Seek, and ye shall find." After experiencing defeat and a feeling of failure in the mission field, John and Charles each found the renewal of spirit that comes only in Christ. They had worked for years in Christ's church, but came to know and experience joy and fulfillment in their ministries only when they had been transformed to work for Christ Himself.

This week's featured hymn carries the answer to the despair of living without Christ. I cannot help believing that Charles Wesley was looking back on some of the darker days that he had experienced when he penned these words. Take a moment to read them out loud. Listen to what you are saying, and believe it!

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!

Even on your darkest days, rejoice indeed! The Lord is King!

God Bless You!