Kingdom glances (2)

Here is the second glance at Kingdom topics in this short series—this one, a recollection of my own song “King Jesus.”

I wrote the song in 1992 in a fit of spiritual excitement, as best I recall.  It has no glaring deficiencies other than its older format[1] but I would now say the song is sub-par in terms of style and potential.  I shared this song with my family last Sunday morning, reliving it.  I don’t recall that it was ever sung by anyone other than me at the piano (and it probably didn’t deserve much of a hearing), but its words and thoughts are nonetheless a witness to my developing consciousness of Kingdom.  In another instance around the same time, I wrote a related article (for Image magazine) on Kingdom—later revised and posted here,

The song’s lyrics begin with a loose paraphrase of a familiar parable, going on to create a largely new narrative.  The denouement is in the third stanza, which refers to, and expands on, Luke 17:21’s notion of either near or inner [2] kingdom/kingship.

There once was a nobleman from above
Who came to this servants and spoke to them in love.
He said, “All my treasures I leave in your care,”
And left them to honor and serve him there.

Now when he returned to his servants one day,
There was a parade with triumphal array.
They laid their belongings all down at his feet
And cried, “Hail to Jesus! Our King we greet!”

The Lord said, “My kingdom is inside your soul,
So build me a palace for royal control.
If you’ll be my people, I’ll be your true king.”
“Put on the royal robe, Lord!  To you we sing!”

The refrain after the first and second stanzas is an allegiant expression to a physical king:

“Jesus, our King Jesus, come rule in our land and in our lives.
We now submit to your majesty.”

Following the third stanza, though, a second version of the refrain is heard, replacing “land” above with “hearts.”  That new emphasis on the kingship of Jesus in a believer’s heart was heightened by a repeat, one step higher.  I appended the refrain from the prayer song “Into My Heart” by Harry D. Clarke, again with revised words.[3]

Into my heart, into my heart . . .
Come rule in my heart, King Jesus.

[1] For the sake of techno-posterity and any musician interested in the pre-Sibelius and pre-Finale world, here is the way the data was stored in the DOS-based notation program I used at the time:

C-Words and Music by Brian Casey
T-With motion
K-A B-4/4
F-Copyright 10/92 ENCOUNTER Music, Wilmington DE 19808
M=4a-4 E-2 a-4 b-5 E-4 b-8 b-4 c-4 a-2 c-4 d-5 F-4 a-8 d-4
M=4C-4 C-2 E-4 E-5 E-4 E-8 E-4 C-4 F-2 F-4 F-5 D-4 D-8 D-4

The notation program was called SongWright, and it is apparently too insignificant and obsolete even to have a Wiki (or any other WWW) reference I can find.  SongWright was dependable and stable in Windows 3.1 and Windows 95, although limited in cosmetic format, and it was quite capable for its time.  The program was MIDI-capable, as well; the last two lines above actually specify the soprano and alto notes in ASCII text, complete with diatonic note names in the key of A major (“K-A” above) and rhythms, e.g., 4 = quarter note.

[2] On the question of “inside” vs. “near” or “at hand,” the translation-sensitive reader might wish to click over to this brief posting by scholar Larry Hurtado.

[3] I had thought “Into My Heart” was in the public domain but later learned its copyright had been re-registered/renewed.  I also later learned that adding words is seen by most copyright owners as a violation of intellectual property law.


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