Getting a Head Start on Advent

Today at church we sang a hymn called Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending that I don’t recall ever singing in church, but it is definitely a hymn I feel like I know. That happens to me a lot, being a church going person since the day I was born, there’s been a lot of music that has taken up residence in my gray matter, the music or the words have at one time or another flittered about and stuck in my subconscious.

Here it is, if you’re into great organ music take a listen, it’s good stuff:

This hymn is a poem by Charles Wesley, brother of John. Charles was something of a prolific poet, he wrote the words to a mere 6500 hymns. Certainly not all of his hymns were blockbusters, if you’re not familiar with this one, you might have heard his little number, Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.

Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending is not subtle poetry about a baby on a silent holy night. It’s bold and brash:

Thousand thousand saints attending

Swell the triumph of His train;

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Christ the Lord returns to reign.

Can you just picture it? Thousands and thousands of the saints! Some pretty powerful words there, inspired by Revelation 1:7, John 20:24-31, and Revelation 7:9-12.

And again, this bit is the stuff that makes me want to crank the music up loud, stand up, and sing with all my might:

Yea, amen, let all adore Thee,

High on Thine eternal throne;

Savior, take the pow’r and glory,

Claim the kingdom as Thine own.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Thou shalt reign, and Thou alone!

Here it is again, this time with the Cambridge Singers:

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