The Worship Quote of the Week for (03/27/2007):

Who Is This King of Glory?
Those of you who have been reading the WORSHIP QUOTE for any length of time know that I am a friend and fan of British hymn writer, Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith (who just celebrated his 80th birthday). Today’s quotation is a hymn text that points to the “kingly” irony of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem. What kind of king is this Jesus? Notice the varied meanings of the phrase "Behold, your King!" as the poem progresses. Do you ever read poetry out loud?


No tramp of soldiers’ marching feet
with banners and with drums,
no sound of music’s martial beat—
“The King of glory comes!”
To greet what pomp of kingly pride
no bells in triumph ring,
no city gates swing open wide:
“Behold, behold your King!”

And yet he comes. The children cheer;
with palms his path is strown.
With every step the cross draws near—
the King of glory’s throne.
Astride a colt he passes by
as loud hosannas ring,
or else the very stones would cry
“Behold, behold your King!”

What fading flowers his road adorn;
the palms, how soon laid down!
No bloom or leaf but only thorn
the King of glory’s crown.
The soldiers mock, the rabble cries,
the streets with tumult ring,
as Pilate to the mob replies,
“Behold, behold your King!”

Now he who bore for mortals’ sake
the cross and all its pains
and chose a servant’s form to take,
the King of glory reigns.
Hosanna to the Savior’s Name
till heaven’s rafters ring,
and all the ransomed host proclaim
“Behold, behold your King!”

—Timothy Dudley-Smith, from A HOUSE OF PRAISE: COLLECTED HYMNS 1961-2001, Carol Stream: Hope Publishing Co., p. 49. ISBN 0-916642-74-7, © 2003 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved. Used by permission. [This book is highly recommended.]

For permission to copy or use this hymn, please contact:
Hope Publishing Company, 380 S. Main Place, Carol Stream, IL 60188
1-800-323-1049, Fax: (630) 665-3200

[My yearly discomfort with Palm Sunday lies in the realization that I, too, would have gladly waved my palm branches and shouted my “HOSANNAS” to the “King of glory”; but, most likely, I would have been in the crowd that traded those cheers for the jeers and curses of “Crucify him!” and "Give us Barabbas!"—or even “I never knew the man.” This is sobering, yes? And yet it makes God’s amazing grace even that much more amazing. Another of my favorite texts on the earthly life of Jesus deals with this same fickle crowd. Take a look at Samuel Crossman's “My Song Is Love Unknown” (]

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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