Rejoice, ye pure in heart!
Rejoice, give thanks, and sing;
your festal banner wave on high,
the cross of Christ your king.
Rejoice, give thanks, and sing!
With voice as full and strong
as ocean's surging praise,
send forth the sturdy hymns of old,
the psalms of ancient days. (Refrain)
With all the angel choirs,
with all the saints on earth
pour out the strains of joy and bliss,
true rapture, noblest mirth. (Refrain)
Still lift your standard high,
still march in firm array,
as pilgrims through the darkness wend
till dawns the golden day. (Refrain)
At last the march shall end;
the wearied ones shall rest;
the pilgrims find their home at last,
Jerusalem the blest. (Refrain)
Praise God who reigns on high,
the Lord whom we adore:
the Father, Son, and Spirit blest,
one God forevermore. (Refrain)
This hymn addresses "Ye Pure in Heart," and commands their rejoicing, giving thanks, singing joyfully, waving the festal banner high. That festal banner is of course the cross of Christ! For us only a cruciform banner is appropriate. The proclamation of Christ and him crucified puts to death the Old Adam and Eve in all of us, and raises us up as a new creation! Such are the pure in heart.
Perhaps one reason why the children of light, those pure in heart, need prodding to engage the world with the same vigor, energy and resourcefulness as do those who belong to "this generation" may be due to amnesia, a short memory. We so quickly forget that new creation and its power within us. But then comes God's Word once again with its power to kill and make alive, repeatedly, daily, reliably. The Apostle Paul, who wrote to Timothy, also writes: "to the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure" (Titus 1:15).
We pilgrims rejoice with powerful, resonant voices, and so join with angel choirs, with all the saints, in expressing the joy and bliss of God's new creation in us!