(Click Title to Listen)
by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
O Church Arise
O church, arise and put your armor on;
Hear the call of Christ our captain!
For now the weak can say that they are strong
In the strength that God has given.
With shield of faith and belt of truth
We'll stand against the devil's lies;
An army bold whose battle cry is "Love!"
Reaching out to those in darkness.
Our call to war, to love the captive soul
But to rage against the captor;
And with the sword that makes the wounded whole
We will fight with faith and valor.
When faced with trials on ev'ry side,
We know the outcome is secure,
And Christ will have the prize for which He died:
An inheritance of nations.
Come, see the cross where love and mercy meet
As the Son of God is stricken;
Then see His foes lie crushed beneath His feet,
For the Conqueror has risen!
And as the stone is rolled away
And Christ emerges from the grave,
This vict'ry march continues till the day
Ev'ry eye and heart shall see Him.
So Spirit come, put strength in ev'ry stride,
Give grace for ev'ry hurdle,
That we may run with faith to win the prize
Of a servant good and faithful.
As saints of old still line the way,
Retelling triumphs of His grace,
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When, with Christ, we stand in glory.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
“18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
ABOUT THE HYMN
"O Church Arise" is another powerful, modern hymn from Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, writers of "In Christ Alone" and "How Deep the Father's Love." The words of the hymn are in the tradition of Martin Luther, with references to fighting a spiritual war led by our Captain, Jesus Christ, and one day standing victorious with Him in glory.
This is a truly corporate hymn, as clearly signaled by the title. With its focus on the strength of Christ's Church—the body of Christians as a whole—it is a refreshing departure in a church worship culture that often seeks to create a hypnotic, almost private, trance-like experience for the individual believer.
A recent survey by CCLI of the top worship songs produced and used in American churches found that the words “me” and “I” were used exponentially more often than “we” and “us.” Many churches turn down the lights and turn up the volume in hopes of creating a sense of anonymity and aloneness with God. But the history of singing in the Christian faith is about community. We don’t sing “A mighty fortress is my god” or “The Christian’s one foundation.”
In singing together corporately, we express and embody the truth of our unity in Christ. This hymn, which is replete with biblical metaphors, is a masculine and militant call for us to rise up and declare the praises of “our Captain.” One recalls the battle of Jericho and the power of the collective shout to bring down the walls of the enemy. While we may not get up and march around the sanctuary as we sing this hymn, we can at least be reminded that we sing as one body in the context of an ongoing battle.
“Liturgy Lessons” by Ross Hauck Covenant Presbyterian Church (cpcissaquah.org)
Kellner, Steve, Salvation Army South Music Publications (Publisher description) https://www.jwpepper.com/O-Church-Arise/10774387.item#/submit
We are commanded to, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." (Colossians 3:16). Accordingly, we incorporate hymns into our regular Sunday morning worship at Pacific Hope Church. We firmly believe in equipping God's people with the knowledge of His Word through sound teaching in our classes, Bible studies, and even in our Sunday morning worship. Our worship will always be with the purpose of exalting the Lord to His proper place; it is never man-centered or seeking to create an emotional experience.