Come, Let Us Join Our Cheerful Songs (ELW 847)
1 Come, let us join our cheerful songs
with angels round the throne;
ten thousand thousand are their tongues,
but all their joys are one.
2 “Worthy the Lamb that died,” they cry,
“to be exalted thus!”
“Worthy the Lamb,” our lips reply,
“for he was slain for us!”
3 Jesus is worthy to receive
honor and pow’r divine;
and blessings, more than we can give,
be, Lord, forever thine.
4 Let all creation join in one
to bless the sacred name
of God who sits upon the throne,
and to adore the Lamb!
It is one of the paradoxes of the Christian faith that so many of our hymns and doctrines assert unity, and yet we can remain so divided. In this hymn we sing of that joining together in song: “ten thousand, thousand are their tongues, but all their joys are one.” We sing of “joining in one to bless the sacred name.” One would really think we could get this “being one” thing down.
Perhaps we should, however, pay closer attention to the way this “being one” thing works in hymnody itself. Harmonies, descants, flourishes all depend upon NOT everything being on the same line and in the same space, but rather in their interplay. “Ten thousand, thousand tongues” each singing their part in the grand hymn of all creation.
Maybe we work too hard at getting things to “line up.” Maybe a little “Jesus Jazz,” of listening and building on one another is in order.
Merciful God, you have tuned creation to sing your praise by creating infinite diversity in infinite variety. May we so come to appreciate the differences that we begin to see how they complement and form a whole. Amen.