On January 18, 2005, while giving Theo a bath, I had an idea for a song. It was a bouncy, happy affair* with a refrain** that proclaimed “Rejoice in the Lord always.” That little idea has been languishing on the Island of Misfit Song Ideas until recently, when Calvin College’s focus on Philippians*** brought it to mind again. I decided to finish it up in the hopes that it would be useful to some of the people who are studying the book and planning worship services around its themes.
Like the book of Philippians, the song is an exhortation to live faithfully and joyfully, even in suffering. I use the “through many dangers” verse of Amazing Grace as a bridge, because it sums up the themes so well. The bridge, by the way, is the recording debut of my fellow COS staff members Rebecca Jordan-Heys and Jan DeVos. You never know what you’ll get roped into when you show up to COS early on a Monday morning!
Take a listen to the MP3 demo or read the words below. As always, comments are welcome.
The power of resurrection
Is sometimes bound in chains.
Give your living and your dying
To the glory of Christs name.
So keep on pressing forward
With confidence and faith.
Whatever lies before you
[I know] the way will be paved with grace
Rejoice in the Lord always.
Again I say
Rejoice in the Lord always
Again I say, rejoice!
Rejoice! Do not be anxious.
Rejoice, and do not fear.
Take comfort that he hears you
The Lord is always near
And Jesus Christ our Savior
Will fill your hearts with peace.
The one who began this good work
Will make your joy complete.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
we have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…
and Grace will lead us home.
*(as bath time songs often are)
**(on the minor V for those who care about such things)
***If you ever play charades on books of the Bible and you get “Philippians,” you can act out “flipping pans” and it should work like a charm.