Come and see the shining hope that Christ’s apostle saw; on the earth, confusion but in heaven an open door, where the living creatures praise the Lamb for evermore: Love has the victory for ever!
Amen, he comes! to bring his own reward! Amen, praise God! for justice now restored; kingdoms of the world become the kingdom of the Lord: Love has the victory for ever!
All the gifts you send us, Lord, are faithful, good and true; holiness and righteousness are shown in all you do: who can see your greatest Gift and fail to worship you? Love has the victory for ever!
Power and salvation all belong to God on high! So the mighty multitudes of heaven make their cry, singing Hallelujah! where the echoes never die: Love has the victory for ever
The author, Christopher Idle is a retired Anglican priest and prolific hymnwriter. A rather splendid recording of this hymn at the Royal Albert Hall can be found here. The tune, Marching Through Georgia, was written towards the end of the American Civil War and became a Unionist anthem.
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!’ Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing, ‘To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might for ever and ever!’ And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ And the elders fell down and worshipped.
A scene like this can be very difficult to imagine in any shape or form and certainly such revelation as was given to John is so different to what we normally see in daily life. However, these inspired words in the hymn give us that glimpse into Heaven as to what our main purpose in that celestial life will hold. Chris Idle’s words, and use of rousing, well-known music, somehow grasp the excitement and elation of what the scene will hold for us believers when we enter into our eternal new home with Jesus.
My husband has always found great inspiration from these words in Revelation, but longed for some real visual representation of such so as to focus his worship upon the Lamb on the Throne. In our congregation we are blessed that one of our members is an artist and he approached her to ask if she could somehow put such into a painting for display within the church. She thought and prayed hard and long, and came up with two pictures of these verses which we are considering today. Therefore, I hope and pray that you will accept these in place of words as they literally paint the picture far more ably than any amount of my words can. Both are now in place within Tabernacle and serve as a focal point upon which we base our worship of the Lamb of God as well as the reigning Lion of the tribe of Judah.
Our awesome, eternal God, King of all ages, You alone are the One to whom all worship, praise and adoration should be ascribed. May our gaze be perpetually on you and not on passing or temporal images, reminding ourselves that our final home is with you, singing our eternal Hallelujahs knowing that love in the nature and person of Jesus has the victory for ever. Amen.