Rejoice, the Lord Is King!

The opening stanza of this well-known hymn by Charles Wesley (1707–1788) is one of unbridled exuberance. The six-line stanza contains at least seven imperative exhortations: “Rejoice,” “give thanks,” “sing,” “Lift up your heart,” “Lift up your voice,” “Rejoice, again,” “rejoice”1. The hymn is based on Philippians 4:4. “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” The early Methodists experienced much persecution and hardship and Charles wrote this hymn, based on Paul’s words penned while to prison, to encourage them2.

Rejoice the Lord is King,
Your Lord and King adore.
Mortals give thanks and sing,
And triumph evermore.

Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice, rejoice
Again I say, rejoice!

Jesus the Saviour reigns, 
The God of truth and love.
When he had purged our stains,
He took his seat above.


His Kingdom cannot fail,
He rules o’er earth and heaven.
The keys of death and hell
Are to our Jesus given.


He sits at God’s right hand,
Till all His foes submit.
And bow to his command
And fall beneath his feet.


Rejoice in glorious hope,
Jesus the judge shall come.
And take his servants up
To their eternal home.

We soon shall hear
the archangel’s voice,
The trump of God
shall sound, rejoice!

2 thoughts on “Rejoice, the Lord Is King!

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