You Servants of God (ELW 825)
1 You servants of God, your Master proclaim,
and publish abroad his wonderful name;
the name, all victorious of Jesus extol;
his kingdom is glorious and rules over all!
2 Ascended on high, almighty to save,
yet still he is night, his presence we have.
The great congregation his triumph shall sing,
ascribing salvation to Jesus, our king!
3 Salvation to God who sits on the throne!
Let all cry aloud and honor the Son.
The praises of Jesus the angels proclaim,
fall down on their faces, and worship the Lamb.
4 Then let us adore and give him his right,
all glory and pow’r and wisdom and might,
all honor and blessing, with angels above,
and thanks never ceasing, and infinite love!
Charles Wesley wrote this hymn of 17 verses during a time of conflict between the townspeople and those that were aligning themselves with a new theology presented by the Wesleys (see Albert Bailey, The Gospel in Hymns, pp. 99-100). The verses that are in the hymnal reflect John’s vision in Revelation which depicts all of creation in heaven and on earth praising God. Our role as witnesses is affirmed in being named and claimed as servants of God. It is a daunting and maybe overwhelming affirmation, but we are not left to our own devices in this endeavor. “Still he is nigh, his presence we have.” Like those in the midst of conflict in 1744, we can find assurance and comfort in knowing that Jesus is present with us in our troubles. To be called servants of God moves us from focusing inward to finding our hope in the very act of praising God.
Gracious God, thank you for being with us in all things but especially when conflict arises. Help us to keep our eyes on you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.