New Song: He Shall Reign Forevermore

Every year, I think, “I don’t know if I’m ready for Christmas.”

I love Christmas, but this year especially, I’m not ready yet.  Think about it…up until recently it’s been 70 degrees!  But that is also the story of Christmas.  People who are lost and aren’t expecting a Messiah are surprised by the hope they’ve been longing for and has now come.  This week, we are going to start learning a new Christmas song to help us celebrate Jesus, our Messiah.  It was recommended to us by a band member who wrote,

“He Shall Reign Forevermore” is such a great song, would be such fun to sing, and I think the congregation would love it around Christmas time …. just makes you wanna dance!!!”

Maybe we’ll all end up dancing this Christmas?!?!?  The verses are based on a Christmas poem written in 1872 by Christina Rosetti.  It’s a famous poem that has been set to music multiple times, but continues to speak to the miracle of the incarnation of the God/man, Jesus.  Both the song and poem start by describing the world as dark and cold…

Vs1: In the bleak mid-winter, all creation groans
For a world in darkness, frozen like a stone
Light is breaking, in a stable
For a throne

I love the last line because it speaks to the two ages that we’ve been talking about at ECC.  Jesus came first as the suffering, servant Messiah, but he will return as the victorious Messiah.  He was born in a stable, but will return to reign.  As we read in Isaiah and Revelation,

For unto us a Child is born…
 – Isaiah 9:6a

“The kingdoms of this world have become
    the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ (Messiah),
    and he shall reign for ever and ever.” -Rev 11:15b KJV

Ch: And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore
And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore
Unto us a child is born
The King of kings and Lord of lords
And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore

Following the last stanza of Rosetti’s original poem, the second verse shifts to examine our own hearts and lives.  If I was filled with all wisdom, what would I offer this king?  If I was the poorest of the poor, what would I offer this king?  The answer is the same.  The only thing you have to offer this king is your heart.

Vs 2: If I were a wise man, I would travel far
And if I were a shepherd, I would do my part
But poor as I am
I will give to Him my heart

As the song climaxes through the bridge, we sing the simple story of God coming to earth in the form of a baby who would grow to be a man and die for the sins of  the world.  All our hopes and dreams come together in this moment.

This is the gospel message.

Jesus, our Messiah has come.

Br: Here within a manger lies
The One who made the starry skies
This baby born for sacrifice
Christ, the Messiah
Into our hopes, into our fears
The Savior of the world appears
The promise of eternal years
Christ, the Messiah

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