God's Surprise

Author: John L. Bell

John Lamberton Bell (born 1949, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire) is a hymn-writer. A Church of Scotland minister, he is a member of the Iona Community, a broadcaster, and former student activist. He works throughout the world, often lecturing in theological colleges in the UK, Canada and the United States, but is primarily concerned with the renewal of congregational worship at the grass roots level. See more in: Wikipedia  Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Who would think that what was needed
Title: God's Surprise
Author: John L. Bell
Meter: D
Refrain First Line: God surprises earth with heaven
Copyright: © 1987, Iona Community, GIA Publications, Inc. agent





Henry T. Smart (PHH 233) composed REX GLORIAE for this text; the hymn was published in the 1868 Appendix to Hymns Ancient and Modern. Stanley L. Osborne (PHH 395) suggests that Smart initially intended REX GLORIAE as a tune for children. Derived from the topic of Wordsworth's text, the tune's name m…

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Instances (8)TextImageAudioScoreFlexscore
Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #295TextImage
Common Praise: A new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern #78
Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #766
Gather Comprehensive #350TextImage
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #138TextImageAudioFlexscore
Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #832
Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #558
The New Century Hymnal #153TextImage