Then I Saw a New Heaven and Earth

Then I saw a new heaven and earth

Versifier: Christopher M. Idle (1973)
Tune: NEW HEAVEN (Warren)
Published in 5 hymnals

Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

1 Then I saw a new heaven and earth,
for the first had passed away;
and the holy city came down from God
like a bride on her wedding day.
And I know how he loves his own,
for I heard his great voice tell
they would be his people, and he their God,
and among them he came to dwell.

2 He will wipe away every tear;
even death shall die at last.
There'll be no more crying or grief or pain
they belong to the world that's past.
And the One on the throne said, "Look!
I am making all things new."
He is A and Z, he is first and last,
and his words are exact and true.

3 So the thirsty can drink their fill
at the fountain giving life.
But the gates are shut on all evil things,
on deceit and decay and strife.
With foundations and walls and towers
like a jewel, the city shines,
with its streets of gold and its gates of pearl,
in a glory where each combines.

4 As they measured its length and breadth
I could see no temple there,
for its only temple is God the Lord
and the Lamb in that city fair.
And it needs neither sun nor moon
in a place which knows no night,
for the city's lamp is the Lamb himself,
and the glory of God its light.

5 And I saw by the sacred throne
flowing water, crystal clear,
and the tree of life with its healing leaves
and its fruit growing all the year.
So the worshipers of the Lamb
bear his name and see his face,
and they reign and serve and forever live
to the praise of his glorious grace.

(This is the only full text available.)^ top

Versifier: Christopher M. Idle

Christopher Idle. Born at Bromley, Kent. 11 September 1938. Educated at Eltham College, after which he worked in an office, a shop and a hospital. Studied English at Saint Peter's College, Oxford (BA 1962) and Theology at Clifton Theological College, Bristol. Married Marjorie Rycroft, who was then nursing, in 1963; they have four married sons and (to date) seven grandchildren. Ordained 1965, serving Church of England parishes at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria; Peckham, South East London; Poplar and Limehouse, East London; and North Hartismere, Suffolk, which comprised seven villages. He and Marjorie returned to Peckham in 1995; from then until 2003 he worked with local schools and churches (Anglican and Baptist), as well as writing and… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Then I saw a new heaven and earth
Title: Then I Saw a New Heaven and Earth
Versifier: Christopher M. Idle (1973)
Meter: Irregular
Language: English
Copyright: © 1973 The Jubilate Group (admin. Hope Publishing Co.)

Notes

Scripture References: st. 1 = Rev. 21:1-3 st. 2 = Rev. 21:4-6a st. 3 = Rev. 21:6b-14, 18-21
st. 4 = Rev. 21:15-17, 22-23 st. 5 = Rev. 22:1-5

In Revelation 21-22 we read about John's vision of the new heaven and new earth, of the new Jerusalem, and of the river of life where trees grow leaves "for the healing of the nations." This vision brings together features of Jerusalem and the Garden of Eden-both recreated! In pictorial language John describes the awe-inspiring cosmic renewal at the end of time.

Christopher M. Idle (PHH 20) versified this passage in London in 1972; his paraphrase was first published in the British collection Psalm Praise (1973) with the tune NEW HEAVEN by Norman L. Warren (PHH 15). It quickly came across the Atlantic and was published in Hymns for the Living Church (1974). The editor of that hymnal, Donald Hustad, had come across the song in the pews of All Souls' Church, London, England, late in 1972 while practicing for his Royal College of Organists exams. Since that time it has appeared in various other hymnals.

Liturgical Use:
In worship focusing on the worldwide nature of the church; as words of encouragement and comfort for those in the midst of troubles and/or martyrdom; as an exultant doxology; Advent or other times when the church focuses on Christ’s return and the new heaven and new earth; All Saints’ Day; Reformation Day.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune

NEW HEAVEN (Warren)

NEW HEAVEN has a folk-like charm; in some ways the first part reminds one of Appalachian tunes. It is one of the few tunes in the Psalter Hymnal that begins in minor and changes to major (another is ST. ANDREW OF CRETE, 575). Idle's text generally warrants this change. Warren wrote that "these marve…

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NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH


Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 4 of 4)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Complete Mission Praise #669
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #236Text InfoTune InfoTextAudioPage Scan
Sing Glory: Hymns, Psalms and Songs for a New Century #456
Singing the New Testament #259
Include 1 pre-1979 instance



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