06. Come, Thou Almighty King.


Listen to this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEeoIRXFM9Y

 “Words make you think. Music makes you feel. A song makes you feel a thought.”  E.Y. Harburg

Have you ever noticed how there are times in life when you are overlooked or not recognized for something you’ve done well? And then, of course, there is the flip side. Times when you or I get the credit (or the blame?) for someone else’s work! All in all, life doesn’t seem too fair, does it, when it comes to being recognized rightly, especially when all the evidence doesn’t add up to a clear conclusion.

So it is with the “author” of today’s hymn, Come, Thou Almighty King. Most church hymnals credit the prolific hymn-writer, Charles Wesley, for penning the words to this classic song. And indeed, this hymn was first published back in 1757 under the title A Hymn to the Trinity, appearing right alongside yet another Wesley hymn in a little 4-page pamphlet distributed by the great revivalist, George Whitefield. But after a closer investigation, those who study such things have generally agreed that Charles Wesley, while an amazing hymn writer in and of himself, did not pen the powerful words found in our hymn for today. Rather, the experts who know must credit the ever-popular Anonymous for the text now sung by generation after generation of hymn singers.

Alas, only heaven knows by name the man or woman of God who first sat down and wrote these amazing words:

Come, Thou Almighty King,
Help us Thy name to sing;
Help us to praise.
Father, all glorious,
O’er all victorious,
Come, and reign over us,
Ancient of Days.

Come, Thou Incarnate Word,
Gird on Thy mighty sword;
Scatter Thy foes.
Let Thine almighty aid,
Our sure defense be made,
Our souls on Thee be stayed;
Thy wonders show.

Come, Holy Comforter,
Thy sacred witness bear,
In this glad hour.
Thou who Almighty art,
Now rule in every heart,
And ne’er from us depart,
Spirit of Power.

To Thee, Great One in Three,
Eternal praises be,
Hence evermore!
Thy sovereign majesty,
May we in glory see,
And to eternity,
Love and adore.

Too bad, isn’t it, that we can’t truly thank the person who penned these lyrics? Here in four short verses, this hymn writer succinctly placed some pretty deep doctrinal truths that surround the Holy Trinity, and did so in a such way that even the youngest child sitting in the pew can easily embrace and worship this Trinitarian Godhead the Christian faith calls Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Great One in Three.

Those who study world religions both marvel at and mock this holy mystery held firmly within the heart of true Christianity. Other religions, you see, insist upon only one god and when anyone attempts to place any other entities equal to that one god, it is seen as an unforgivable sin. Other religions move completely away from the idea of one all-powerful, all-knowing god and celebrate multiple deities with different personalities and job descriptions.

But orthodox Christianity contradicts both of these traditional viewpoints of the Divine and insists that, yes, there is only One True God, but within this singular godhead there are three equally-powerful and equally-unified persons (Father, Son & Spirit) through which this loving Godhead makes Himself known. And while some critics say that it was early church leaders who first conjured up this unique concept of the Trinity, in truth, it was Jesus of Nazareth, Himself, who was the first to speak publicly about this mystery of the Triune God. And it was this claim to being the Second Person of the Trinity (equal to God Himself) that caused Jesus to be denied by the religious leaders of His day and then crucified for such heresy.

So today, in a world where multiple religions abound, it’s important for Christians to be fully aware of the controversy our faith contains. First, as I see it, it is important for us to honor other belief systems, living at peace, as Jesus commanded, with those who look at this subject differently. But, let’s be clear. It’s equally important for Christians to hold tightly to this Jesus-breathed truth that this One God is truly a Triune God, made up of Holy Father, Precious Son, and In-dwelling Spirit. Church history shows us that it was this truth that has so very often been challenged, and thanks be to either Charles Wesley or the infamous Anonymous Saint who penned these important words of truth and set them to song so very long ago!

My prayer:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You are the complete loving Godhead, manifest in Three Persons, coming to me to reveal Your true nature of love, mercy and grace. I receive this mysterious truth that You are, indeed, the Great One in Three. May I hold to this truth forever and ever. For Your name’s sake. Amen.

My questions to ponder: So have I taken the necessary time and effort to ponder the wonderful mysteries of the Trinitarian Godhead? Am I fully embracing the uniqueness (and the oneness) of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and giving each Person of the Trinity the honor and respect found in today’s hymn?

So what is God speaking to you today as we ponder together 30 Great Hymns of Faith?

Between now and Easter 2016, we will be sharing with you this blog series we call Thirty Great Hymns of Faith. In order to keep all 34 blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Thirty Great Hymns of Faith home page for ease of use. ENJOY!

If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others! Click here to go on to the next blog in our series.

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