Crown Him with Many Crowns

Crown Him with Many Crowns

I get a little antsy when we sing songs like this. When Jesus starts wearing crowns, I'm afraid it's only a few steps away from draping him in flags and claiming him for one political faction or another. The only crown that Jesus wore in his lifetime was a crown of thorns, and the closest he came to being raised on a pedestal was being raised on a cross. However much we try—and we will try—Jesus is not a symbol of worldly domination or of worldly power. When we sing of Christ's crowns and glory, what we are really singing is his betrayal, humiliation and death.

But this is precisely why we crown him the Lord of Love, because he would suffer such betrayal for our sake. That's why we crown him the Lord of Life, because he overcame death and led us into new life. That's why we crown him the Lord of Years, because, as Jesus tells Pilate, his Kingdom is not from this world. It cannot be corrupted by our bigheaded grasping for control. God is in control, and what God glorifies is always surprising.

God of glory, you demonstrated your love by sending your Son to live among us, to be one of us, and to die for us. Give us the eyes to see your glory in the places we would rather not look. Give us the voices to sing your story of redemption. Give us the courage to crown love, life and creation, rather than power, wealth and destruction. Amen.

Crown Him with Many Crowns

1 Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne,
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing
of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless King
through all eternity.

2 Crown him the Lord of life,
who triumphed o'er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save.
His glories now we sing,
who died, and rose on high,
who died, eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.

3 Crown him the Lord of peace,
whose power a scepter sways
from pole to pole, that wars may cease,
and all be prayer and praise.
His reign shall know no end,
and round his pierced feet
fair flowers of paradise extend
their fragrance ever sweet.

4 Crown him the Lord of love;
behold his hands and side,
those wounds, yet visible above,
in beauty glorified.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
For thou hast died for me;
thy praise and glory shall not fail
throughout eternity.

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