192

Oh, qué bueno es Jesús (Oh, How Good Is Christ the Lord)

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The text presents the heart of the Christian confession of faith: Christ who died for our sin has risen again! We respond to this confession, "Glory be to Jesus." This accla­mation is similar to the traditional liturgical response to the reading of the gospel text. To continue the confession, Bert Polman (PHH 37) wrote an additional stanza in 1987:
     Oh, how good is Christ the Lord! He has sent his Spirit here
     to lead us along the way. Glory be to Jesus!
     Glory be to Jesus! Glory be to Jesus!
     For his kingdom has no end. Glory be to Jesus!
 
Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Easter hymns accomplish three functions: they recount the Easter narrative, proclaim our Easter hope, and celebrate our joy at Christ’s resurrection. This hymn is built on the professions of Easter truths that are expressed primarily in Heidelberg Catechism. Note especially the following:
  • Lord’s Day 17, Question and Answer 45 declares that Christ’s resurrection makes us share in Christ’s righteousness, raises us to a new life by his power, and is a sure pledge to us of our resurrection.
  • Lord’s Day 22, Question and Answer 57 comforts us to know that not only our soul but “also my very flesh will be raised by the power of God, reunited with my soul, and made like Christ’s glorious body.”
  • Lord’s Day 22, Question and Answer 58 says that it may be a comfort to know that while experiencing the beginning of eternal joy now, “after this life I will have perfect blessedness such as no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human heart has ever imagined: a blessedness in which to praise God forever.”
In addition, Our Song of Hope, stanza 5 professes: “On the day of the resurrection, the tomb was empty; His disciples saw Him; death was defeated; new life had come. God’s purpose for the world was sealed.”
192

Oh, qué bueno es Jesús (Oh, How Good Is Christ the Lord)

Call to Worship

Loving God,
on this celebrative day, many may join us for worship
who do not regularly join with your people.
We pray for the gift of hospitality today,
that our community will welcome them with open arms.
May each worshiper sense the power of the gospel today
and be drawn closer to you, by the power of your Spirit. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 47:39]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

God of life,
we praise you for the miracle of Easter.
We pray for great joy for ourselves and for all who come
to worship today to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.
We pray especially for those who will join us for worship
and whose lives are filled with pain, loss, or deep sadness.
May they sense how the resurrection is a source of great hope. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 47:39]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn.
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples,
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens;
your faithfulness extends to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
Let your glory be over all the earth.
—Psalm 57:8-11, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
In our anguish we cried to the Lord,
and he answered by setting us free.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
The Lord is our strength and our song;
he has become our salvation.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
We will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
The Lord has done this;
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
—from Psalm 118:1, 5, 14, 17, 22-24, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

The following may be used at the beginning of an Easter Vigil service. It may also be further
adapted for other occasions of Easter worship.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ,
on this most holy night
when Jesus, our Lord, passed from death to life,
we gather, united with the church throughout the world,
to rehearse again all that God has promised
and to celebrate how all those promises are “Yes” in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
This is the Passover of Jesus Christ.
As people of this Passover,
we tell the whole story of God’s covenanting love.
We celebrate that by God’s grace this story is our story:
that God has grafted us into his Easter people,
helping us to share in Christ’s triumph over sin and death.
On this Passover night, we declare with joy:
“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
In him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.”
—based on John 1:1, 4-5
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Words of Praise

Glory to you, O God:
On this day you won victory over death,
raising Jesus from the grave
and giving us eternal life.
Glory to you, O Christ:
For us and for our salvation you overcame death
and opened the gate to everlasting life.
Glory to you, O Holy Spirit:
You lead us into the truth.
Glory to you, O blessed Trinity,
now and forever. Amen.
[BCW-1946, pg 304, alt., PD]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Assurance

God, who is rich in mercy,
out of the great love with which he loved us
even when we were dead through our trespasses,
made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
and raised us up with him and seated us with him
in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
so that in the ages to come he might show
the immeasurable riches of his grace
in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
—Ephesians 2:4-7, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Blessing/Benediction

Now to him who by the power at work within us
is able to accomplish abundantly far more
than all we can ask or imagine,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
—Ephesians 3:20-21, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two
192

Oh, qué bueno es Jesús (Oh, How Good Is Christ the Lord)

Tune Information

Name
OH QUÉ BUENO
Key
D Major
Meter
7.7.7.6.6.6.7.6

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

The key to a song like this is understanding the rhythmic foundation upon which all the other musical elements are laid. In this case, everything synchronizes with the “3-2 Clave” rhythm (/dotted eighth, dotted eighth, eighth/eighth rest, eighth, eighth, eighth rest/ or clave hits on the words: Oh, good, is, the, Lord). Once you have the foundation of the 3-2 Clave laid, you can add sixteenth note maracas, guitar, etc.

 
— Greg Scheer
192

Oh, qué bueno es Jesús (Oh, How Good Is Christ the Lord)

Hymn Story/Background

This hymn is one of a number of Spanish folk hymns sung by evangelical Christians throughout Central and South America. No other published source is known. Transcribed from a tape recording of a small Bible study group in Puerto Rico, the song was presented by a Hispanic task force charged with recommending Spanish-language hymns for the 1987 Psalter Hymnal.
 
The text presents the heart of the Christian confession of faith: Christ who died for our sin has risen again! We respond to this confession, "Glory be to Jesus." This accla­mation is similar to the traditional liturgical response to the reading of the gospel text.
 
OH QUÉ BUENO is a simple tune with musical phrases bound by one syncopated rhythm, a typical trait of many popular tunes from Latin America. The tune is a fine example of the Puerto Rican corito ("a little song"). It is intended for unison singing, but choirs may wish to try singing in harmony. Dale Grotenhuis prepared the harmonization in 1985. Use light accompaniment with guitars or piano; improvise some additional percussion rhythms.
 
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Dale Grotenhuis (b. Cedar Grove, WI, 1931; d. Jenison, Mi, August 17, 2012) was a member of the 1987 Psalter Hymnal 1987 Revision Committee, and was professor of music and director of choral music at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, from 1960 until he retired in 1994 to concentrate on composition. Educated at Calvin College; Michigan State University, Lansing; and Ohio State University, Columbus; he combined teaching with composition throughout his career and was a widely published composer of choral music. He also directed the Dordt choir in a large number of recordings, including many psalm arrangements found in the 1959 edition of the Psalter Hymnal.
 
— Bert Polman
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