Lessons from Hymns: God's Eternal Kingdom

Over the next few weeks, these newsletters will be going through a devotional series called Lessons from Hymns. Hymns are a huge part of our faith background and shaping the Western church. Each week, we will be discussing the words or themes of a classic hymn.

Arguably the most famous hymn in the English language is “Amazing Grace.” It’s hard not to see why it’s so famous, as it beautifully captures the wonderful mercy of Jesus. My favorite verse is the last one:

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun

I love this verse because it talks about the infinite nature of the Kingdom of God. When God unites Heaven and Earth, we will live eternally with him there. We will never run out of days. We will never run out of time. We will never have to worry about sickness, hurt, tears, or death ever again. We will live ten thousand years and beyond with our perfect God in harmony.

Sometimes when I look around our world, I forget that I have hope in something greater. I see murder, racism, hatred, and violence. It makes me weary. But what keeps me going is the truth that when Jesus returns, we will wipe every tear from every eye. He will right all the wrongs. He will bring justice and peace to the whole world. And we as the church get to participate in that work right now!

The Kingdom of God will go on forever, but it is also happening right now! We as the church, filled with the Holy Spirit, are ambassadors for God’s Kingdom on Earth today. When the hymn says, “We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise/Than when we first begun,” it is including our worship here and now. We are to treat everyday as an opportunity to worship God, whether in word or deed.

I will close with this teaching of Jesus about the Kingdom from Luke 17:20-21.

“Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”