224

Rejoice, the Lord Is King

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The text rejoices in the kingship of Christ (st. 1) whose rule extends "o'er earth and heaven" (st. 2). All will bow the knee to Christ (st. 3) when he returns in glory to judge "the living and dead" (st. 4). The refrain line based on Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice,” is the keynote of the entire text.  
 
Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The confessions make it clear that the ascension of Christ opened the door to the rule of his kingdom. This fact is comforting to those who love him and is a fearful threat to those who despise him. The response therefore is praise and adoration from people of faith, and resistance from those who reject him.
 
Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 27 affirms “All authority, glory and sovereign power are given to him,” and reaffirms it in paragraph 43: “Jesus Christ rules over all.”
 
Consider the clear affirmation made in Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 19, Question and Answer 50: “Christ ascended to heaven to show there that he is the head of his church, the one through whom the Father rules all things.”
 

It is no wonder that those who despise him join together to conspire against him, for Christ’s aim as Lord is to “destroy the devil’s work…every force which revolts against you and every conspiracy against your holy word” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 48, Question and Answer 123).

Call to Worship

Almighty God,
as we prepare to worship today,
we ask that you will stretch our imaginations
to sense the majesty and mystery of your ascension.
Help us perceive how Jesus’ presence in heaven
can give us confidence in our praying
and hope for the future.
Through Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas,
and established it on the rivers.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord ?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
and do not swear deceitfully.
They will receive blessing from the Lord,
and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Such is the company of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory?
The Lord , strong and mighty,
the Lord , mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory.
—Psalm 24, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!
Then every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth
and on the sea, and all that is in them, sang,
“To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power
for ever and ever!” Amen.
—from Revelation 5:12-13, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing to him a psalm of praise.
God reigns over the nations;
God is seated on his holy throne.
—Psalm 47:5-8, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Jesus Christ has come into heaven and is at God’s right hand—
with angels, authorities, and powers in submission to him.
Since we have a great high priest who has gone into heaven—
Jesus, the Son of God—let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
Let us praise his holy name!
Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!
Blessing, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and strength
be to our God forevermore!
Alleluia, Amen!
Alleluia!
—based on Hebrews 4:14; Revelation 5:10, 12
[Reformed Worship 23:41]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Lord God,
the words “Jesus is King” come easily to our lips,
yet we often fail to grasp the significance of what they mean for us.
In this service, help us worship you in spirit and truth,
and give us a vision for how we may live in homage to you
every day of our lives, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Lord God,
when we struggle to worship you as Lord,
show us again the beauty and power of your rule.
Teach us again that serving you is the path to true freedom.
May your Holy Spirit strengthen us today,
leading us to honor and worship you more deeply,
not only with the words we sing
but also with the lives we lead before your face,
through Jesus, our reigning Lord. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord Almighty—
he is the King of glory.
—Psalm 24:7-8, 10, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Words of Praise

We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
the one who is and who was,
for you have taken your great power
and have begun to reign.
Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
Great and amazing are your deeds, Lord God the Almighty.
Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.
Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come and worship before you,
for your judgments have been revealed. Amen.
—from Revelation 11:17; 12:10, NIV; 15:3-4, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Assurance

Hear the good news of the gospel:
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.
In Christ, by God’s grace, we are saved.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!
—based on Ephesians 2:4-7, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Hear the good news of the gospel:
If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous;
and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins,
and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
In Christ, we are forgiven! Thanks be to God.
—based on 1 John 2:1-2, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Our hope for a new creation
is not tied to what humans can do,
for we believe that one day
every challenge to God’s rule
will be crushed.
His kingdom will fully come,
and the Lord will rule.
We long for that day
when our bodies are raised,
the Lord wipes away our tears,
and we dwell forever
in the presence of God.
We will take our place
in the new creation,
where there will be
no more death
or mourning
or crying
or pain,
and the Lord will be our light.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
—from Our World Belongs to God, st. 55-56
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Ascended Lord Jesus, help us to turn our thoughts toward you. We confess to
you this Ascension Day that we so often fail to take you into account. Sometimes
we do not set our minds upon you because of sheer laziness—it’s easier just to go
with society’s flow. Sometimes we do not take you into account because of simple
inattention—we just forget to look for ways in which we could serve your gospel
in a given situation. At other times we have not turned toward you because we have
actively and willfully decided to turn away from you.
When and where we fail to be transparent to your cosmic lordship, please
forgive us. By your Spirit of Pentecost, sent to us precisely because you are reigning
on high, help us to see this world the way you see it. From your exalted throne you
are able to see us and this world and its many hurting people clearly and well. Help
us to open our own eyes. Grant us vision and insight to view the people around us
through the lens of your own compassion.
Sometimes, O God, we conceive of your lordship as regal, powerful, and
perhaps a bit distant. We think your sovereign rule involves mostly quashing evil,
pursuing justice, and judging sin. Remind us by your Spirit that your lordship is
also about being close to people in need. Prod us to recall that in your kingdom,
rulership comes through servanthood and that the hands that uphold our world are
the pierced and tender hands of Jesus. Help us to remember (so that we may imitate
this ourselves) that you see not just evil that needs judging but also suffering that
needs ministry.
For you, O Lord, see the tears of the widowed, the sobs that overtake them when
the rest of us are not looking. You see the disorientation in which so many people
live every day—confusion borne of war, poverty, abuse, or chronic illness. You
see the people in dead-end jobs who trudge to work every day filled with so much
despair that they can hardly breathe. You see those who search a loved one’s eyes
for traces of love but find only an empty stare. As Lord of the earth, you spy every
instance of one person cutting another to the quick, every place where a child lives
in fear, every bar where someone tries to drown their sorrows.
Yet you are our world’s every hope. You are tender enough to weep with those
who weep and yet strong enough to lend comfort and not be consumed with the
sorrows that overwhelm us. You are discerning enough to see where our lives run
off the rails and yet gracious enough to forgive our foolishness and open again
the better path that leads into your kingdom. You are the bright center to all of
life, O God! Your lordship helps us glimpse our future with you in your kingdom,
even as it points the way home.
Make us into people of the ascension, Christ Jesus! Make us your hands of mercy,
your voice of grace, your presence of love. Whatever we do, whether in word
or deed; whatever we see, whether sinful or salacious; whatever we hear, whether
uplifting or depressing; whatever we face in this world, help us to face it in your
power and with the knowledge of your grace and goodness. Help us to be gentle
with prodigal children. Help us to be stalwart in the truth with people in love with
lies. Help us to be radiant with hope with people who fear death. Help us to be your
people, Lord God.
For today, as always, this world needs your shalom-filled presence. Bring peace
to war-torn places and help people everywhere to see in one another your image.
May those who delight in the paths of suicide and destruction be turned instead to
delight in life and in mutual flourishing. End the terror in which so many live, and
thwart the dreams of those who plot still more terror on the unsuspecting. Where
there is hunger, bring bread; where there is drought and thirst, send refreshing
rains; where there is hatred, bring your peace; where there is greed, bring your own
fullness and so turn appetites run amok away from short-term pleasures toward
things that last and that foster richness and plenty for all.
We are the people of your ascension and reign, Holy Christ of God. Whatever
we do, help us never to forget who we are, whose we are, and where true joy may
be found.
In the power and blessing of your name we pray. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Do not weep!
See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.
With his blood he has purchased people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
He has made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.
Thanks be to God!
—based on Revelation 5:5, 9-10, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Jesus Christ has been ordained by God the Father
and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit
to be our chief prophet and teacher
who fully reveals to us
the secret counsel and will of God concerning our deliverance;
our only high priest
who has delivered us by the one sacrifice of his body,
and who continually pleads our cause with the Father;
and our eternal king
who governs us by his Word and Spirit,
and who guards us and keeps us in the freedom he has won for us.
He ascended to heaven
to show there that he is head of his church,
the one through whom the Father rules all things.
In all distress and persecution,
with uplifted head,
we confidently await the very judge
who has already offered himself to the judgment of God
in our place and removed the whole curse from us.
Christ will cast all his enemies and ours
into everlasting condemnation,
but will take all his chosen ones to himself
into the joy and glory of heaven.
—from Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A’s 31, 50, 52
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

As followers of Jesus Christ,
living in this world—
which some seek to control,
and others view with despair—
we declare with joy and trust:
Our world belongs to God!
From the beginning,
through all the crises of our times,
until the kingdom fully comes,
God keeps covenant forever:
Our world belongs to God!
God is King! Let the earth be glad!
Christ is victor: his rule has begun!
The Spirit is at work: creation is renewed!
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Jesus ascended in triumph,
raising our humanity to the heavenly throne.
All authority, glory, and sovereign power are given to him.
There he hears our prayers
and pleads our cause before the Father.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Our hope for a new creation is not tied
to what humans can do,
for we believe that one day
every challenge to God’s rule will be crushed.
His kingdom will fully come,
and our Lord will rule.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Our World Belongs to God, st. 1-2, 27, 55
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Blessing/Benediction

Grace and peace to you
from him who is, and who was, and who is to come,
and from the seven spirits before his throne,
and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,
the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,
and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—
to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
—Revelation 1:4-6, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

O God of all power and majesty,
you created the heavens and stretched them out.
You formed the earth and all that comes from it.
You give the breath of life to all who walk on the face of the earth.
Jesus, you conquered sin and death and now reign victorious.
You are Lord; glory is due your name.
The former things have come to pass;
we now await the new things you will bring through the Holy Spirit.
We rejoice to be gathered in your name.
Alleluia! Accept our praises and petitions. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 39:28]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Ascended Christ,
how grateful we are that you ever live to pray for us,
even now at God’s right hand.
We pray to you as Lord, and with you to the Father:
Hallowed be your name.
May your kingdom come.
May your will be done.
May all people have bread to nourish body and soul.
May your people walk in the way of forgiveness
and stand firm in the time of trial.
May you, with the Father and the Spirit, receive all the glory. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

You said, “Peace be with you.” And you breathed on your disciples,
that they might receive the Holy Spirit and be able to go in peace.
And so, victorious Lord, we pray to you:
Lord, hear us and give us your peace.
O Christ, after your resurrection you sent out your disciples to teach the nations,
to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
You said you would be with them always, to the end of the age.
And so, victorious Lord, we pray to you:
Lord, hear us, and send us out with your promise.
O Christ, exalted one, through your resurrection you have lifted us up,
you have given gifts to us, you have sent your Spirit to us,
that we might be equipped for service to a world that knows you not.
And so, victorious Lord, we pray to you:
Lord, hear us, and distribute your gifts among us.
O Christ, exalted one, you are glorified by angels in heaven,
you are honored and worshiped on earth,
and all of history stands on tip-toe, eagerly awaiting the final day
of your return, when you will make all things new.
And so, victorious Lord, we pray to you:
Lord, hear us, and come again soon.
Our Father, grant that we may evermore
live in the fullness of your power, filled with your peace,
directed by your Spirit, and sent as Christ was sent.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Tune Information

Name
DARWALL'S 148th
Key
C Major
Meter
6.6.6.6.8.8

Recordings

Hymn Story/Background

Charles Wesley wrote this text for Easter and Ascension in six stanzas. First published in John Wesley's Moral and Sacred Poems (1744), the text was also published in Charles Wesley's Hymns for our Lord's Resurrection (1746). The original stanzas 2 and 5 are not included.
 
Written for use at Easter and Ascension, Charles Wesley’s text exalts Christ as king and features Paul’s injunction to “rejoice” as is keynote. The text rejoices in the kingship of Christ (st. 1) whose rule extends "o'er earth and heaven" (st. 2). All will bow the knee to Christ (st. 3) when he returns in glory to judge "the living and dead" (st. 4). The refrain line based on Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice,” is the keynote of the entire text.
 
Composed by John Darwall, DARWALL'S 148TH was first published as a setting for Psalm 148 in Aaron William's New Universal Psalmodist (1770) with only soprano and bass parts. The harmonization dates from the nineteenth century. An Anglican preacher and amateur musician, John Darwall first composed this tune for Psalm 148; it is the only one of his 150 psalm melodies in common use today.
 
The only Darwall tune still in common use, DARWALL'S 148TH is marked by both its dramatic opening figure (outlining the tonic chord) and by the convincing ascent of the final line. Sing in unison or in parts at a lively tempo. Try adding trumpets both to the melody as well as to the descant by Sydney H. Nicholson on stanza 4.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Several members of the Wesley family are significant figures in the history of English hymnody, and none more so than Charles Wesley (b. Epworth, Lincolnshire, England, 1707; d. Marylebone, London, England, 1788). Charles was the eighteenth child of Samuel and Susanna Wesley, who educated him when he was young. After attending Westminster School, he studied at Christ Church College, Oxford. It was there that he and George Whitefield formed the Oxford "Holy Club," which Wesley's brother John soon joined. Their purpose was to study the Bible in a disciplined manner, to improve Christian worship and the celebration of the Lord's Supper, and to help the needy. Because of their methods for observing the Christian life, they earned the name “Methodists.”
 
Charles Wesley was ordained a minister in the Church of England in 1735 but found spiritual conditions in the church deplorable. Charles and John served briefly as missionaries to the British colony in Georgia. Enroute they came upon a group of Moravian missionaries, whose spirituality impressed the Wesleys. They returned to England, and, strongly influenced by the ministry of the Moravians, both Charles and John had conversion experiences in 1738. The brothers began preaching at revival meetings, often outdoors. These meetings were pivotal in the mid-eighteenth-century "Great Awakening" in England.
 
Though neither Charles nor John Wesley ever left the Church of England them­selves, they are the founders of Methodism. Charles wrote some sixty-five hundred hymns, which were published in sixty-four volumes during his lifetime; these include Collection of Psalms and Hymns (1741), Hymns on the Lord's Supper (1745), Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1753), and Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists (1780). Charles's hymns are famous for their frequent quotations and allusions from the Bible, for their creedal orthodoxy and their subjective expression of Christian living, and for their use of some forty-five different meters, which inspired new hymn tunes in England.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

The son of a pastor, John Darwall (b. Haughton, Staffordshire, England, 1731; d. Walsall, Staffordshire, England, 1789) attended Manchester Grammar School and Brasenose College, Oxford, England (1752-1756). He became the curate and later the vicar of St. Matthew's Parish Church in Walsall, where he remained until his death. Darwall was a poet and amateur musician. He composed a soprano tune and bass line for each of the 150 psalm versifications in the Tate and Brady New Version of the Psalms of David (l696). In an organ dedication speech in 1773 Darwall advocated singing the "Psalm tunes in quicker time than common [in order that] six verses might be sung in the same space of time that four generally are."
 
Sydney H. Nicholson (b. St. Marylebone, London, England, 1875; d. Ashford, Kent, England, 1947) was an organist and church music educator who greatly influenced English hymnody. Educated at Oxford's New College, the Royal College of Music in London, and in Frankfurt, Germany, he became organist at several famous cathedrals, including Westminster Abbey (1919-1928). Nicholson founded and administered the School of English Church Music at Chislehurst in 1927; this important institution, with branches throughout the English-speaking world, was renamed the Royal School of Church Music in 1945. Located in Canterbury after World War II, its headquarters were moved to Addington Palace, Croydon, in 1954. Nicholson was music advisor for the 1916 Supplement of Hymns Ancient and Modern and prepared the way for its 1950 edition. He wrote Church Music: a Practical Handbook (1920) and Quires and Places Where They Sing (1932) and composed operettas, anthems, and hymn tunes. In 1938 he was knighted for his contributions to church music.
— Bert Polman
General Settings
Stanza Selection
Voice Selection
Text size:
Music size:
Transpose (Half Steps):
Capo:
Contacting server...
Contacting server...

This is a preview of your FlexScore.