New Song: All Glory Be to Christ

Do you remember the last song in the last scene of the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”?

George Baily’s brother comes home, announces that his brother is the “richest man in town” and neighbors dump money into the basket to help George out of a jam.  Of course we know that George isn’t rich because of money.  He’s rich because of his investment in the people of Bedford Falls.  And then the music rolls…do you remember the song?

That’s right.  It’s Old Lang Syne.  The song is based on a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song.  It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world, its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Years at the stroke of midnight.  By extension, it is also sung at funerals, graduations and as a farewell or ending to other occasions.*

It’s a song that’s apart of our culture and celebrates relationships old and new.  But the song we are going to learn this weekend, with the same melody, has a different message.  It reminds us that whatever happens, it’s not about us or our relationships alone.  It’s about the glory of Christ in us.

The song starts small…a capella.  And reminds us that we aren’t as big or important as we like to believe.  The verse comes straight from Psalm 127:1 and James 4:14.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.

What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Verse 1:

Should nothing of our efforts stand 
No legacy survive 
Unless the Lord does raise the house 
In vain its builders strive 

To you who boast tomorrow’s gain 
Tell me what is your life 
A mist that vanishes at dawn 
All glory be to Christ! 

The chorus is a doxology that echoes Jude and Ephesians in that it is a mini hymn of praise to God…

All glory be to Christ our king! 
All glory be to Christ! 
His rule and reign we’ll ever sing, 
All glory be to Christ! 

Moving on to Verse 2:

His will be done 
His kingdom come 
On earth as is above 
Who is Himself our daily bread 
Praise Him the Lord of love 

Let living water satisfy 
The thirsty without price 
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet 
All glory be to Christ! 

Here the song writer, has helped us sing part of the Lord’s Prayer and then taken us to the scene of Jesus and the woman at the Well.  You know the prayer, right?

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven. -Matt 6:9-10

And then to the woman at the Well…

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” -John 4:10

And then we fast forward to the end of the time and the book of Revelation.  Here the music modulates up and we sing of the end of all things, not just the year…

When on the day the great I Am 
The faithful and the true 
The Lamb who was for sinners slain 
Is making all things new. 

Behold our God shall live with us 
And be our steadfast light 
And we shall ere his people be 
All glory be to Christ! 

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God”…He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”…The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.  -Rev 21:3-5, 22

*Thanks to the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia, for this quote!

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