Now All within This Place

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Walter Farquharson
Tune Name: GRAVELBOURG

Lyrics as Poetry

Now all within this place!
God’s people living God’s love,
Resurrected human race!
To God be the glory!

To God be the glory!
To God be the glory!
Amen! Amen!

To God be the glory!
To God be the glory!
Amen! Amen!

Sing out with loudest praise.
Jesus claim your rightful rule,
and so begin God’s days!
To God be the glory!

To God be the glory!
To God be the glory!
Amen! Amen!

To God be the glory!
To God be the glory!
Amen! Amen!

In all we do and say,
Love reflect God’s justice
and mercy show the way!
To God be the glory!

To God be the glory!
To God be the glory!
Amen! Amen!

To God be the glory!
To God be the glory!
Amen! Amen!

Now all within this place!
God’s people living God’s love,
Resurrected human race!
To God be the glory!

To God be the glory!
To God be the glory!
Amen! Amen!

To God be the glory!
To God be the glory!
Amen! Amen!


Words by
Walter FarquharsonCopyright © 1984 by Walter Farquharson
Administered by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

A Reflection by
WALTER FARQUHARSON


One of the most difficult books in the Bible to read and understand is The Revelation to John. Over the centuries it has been used and abused by those who claimed to possess the key to unravel its meaning or break the secret code. Visions are like that. So to a great extent is poetry, story, drama. Decades ago, while a student at St. Andrew’s College, Saskatoon, I read a book entitled The Drama of the Book of Revelation by John Wick Bowman. For me it provided a liberating way into the Revelation to John. A good drama invites a member of the audience into the action. It calls upon all to suspend presupposition, belief and disbelief and then to let the drama unfold. Here is John’s invitation to his readers.

I, John, your brother who shares with you in Jesus the persecution and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.  I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet. I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades. (Revelation 1:9-10,12-13,17-18 NRSV)

At the time of writing, John was in a place of isolation (the island of Patmos). He may have been there as exile or as refugee fleeing persecution. He had virtually no control over his circumstances. He was trying to make sense of the moment but also of the wide sweep of history – and the meaning and obligation of faith and faithfulness. John was a teacher, a mentor and leader of a faith community that was trying to find its way.

John describes his situation as one he shares with Christians located in varied communities in an ever- broadening geographic circle. He states that what he, and the churches to which he writes, experience is shared “in Jesus”. There is continuity between the historical Jesus, the Risen Christ, and the contemporary faith communities seeking to be the embodiment and extension of Jesus’ own ministry and work. The persecutions  are shared and are one with the sufferings and death of Jesus but there is more. He, and the churches, share in the kingdom – the announced new day of God’s rule marked by justice, peace, healing, acceptance, forgiveness, community. That kingdom is threatened and persecuted by the prevailing kingdoms of Caesars and the vested interests of a world apparently committed to power, greed, and the using of others. It then follows, asserts John, that the “sharing” is also a sharing in patient endurance. Patient endurance is demanding and difficult.  It is not the same thing as resignation, cynicism or fatalism.  Patient endurance is an aspect of faith and “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)  

John acknowledges his isolation, his being exiled, but he is not alone. He is one with what the author of the Letter to the Hebrews described as “that great cloud of witnesses”.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Ironically, I write this reflection at a time when much of the world’s population attempts to deal with a pandemic – Covid 19 – corona virus. Many of us are experiencing isolation or relative isolation as a much encouraged response that will hopefully slow or stall the spread of the virus. Many of us have never experienced such isolation or the threat of it. Others have! One of the possible blessings of such an event as this will be that we all become more aware of our interdependence, our shared vulnerability, our precarious hold on such things as control and independence that we tend to value very highly.  

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian whose writings in the fields of ethics and  theology had a major impact in many branches of the Christian Church following World War II, wrote in letters from prison of the isolation and exile experienced as he and others sat awaiting execution for the role they had played in an attempt to assassinate Adolph Hitler. He also wrote of a communion they knew that included non-believers sharing the same sentence and situation. And, Bonhoeffer found himself taking comfort in remembering “I have been baptized”. This was not a claim to privilege or to a superior place of being. It was an affirmation of belonging, belonging to Christ and to that “great cloud of witnesses”.

The lengthy isolation, imprisonment and solitary confinement, experienced by Nelson Mandela shaped a leader who became friends with his jailers and who emerged from jail to call and work for reconciliation of the races in South Africa. 

There are other varieties of isolation and exile experienced by individuals, by groups within society.  They vary in intensity and in impact. They are not to be minimized nor sentimentalized. The suffering is real and if, by grace, good rises, then God is to be praised and life celebrated. The journey has been the way of the cross.

Returning to the words of the hymn, we become aware that we may sing it in the empty church, in the prison cell, in the place where we may, like Isaiah, protest that we are “undone”, broken people in the midst of a broken people.

John affirms that he was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day”. When other Christians would have been gathering, wherever they gathered, indoors or out, in places known and places secret, he had a sense of being with them, being surrounded by them, joining with them as they listened to Scripture, as they prayed, as they sang. The whole earth is God’s temple. God’s people are God’s temple.

The Christians met on the first day of the week – Sunday – not the Sabbath Day of Rest but the Day of Resurrection. They were the risen people of God. The Risen Christ among them and through them healed and welcomed, broke down barriers and offered forgiveness and new beginnings. To God be the glory!

Imagine! And sing!

Beyond imagining, embody!  Embody! – God’s people living God’s love. Love reflecting God’s justice and mercy showing the way! Amen. Amen


Footnote re Baldwin’s book:

This little book presents a new translation in the modern idiom and a commentary on the book of Revelation particularly directed to the laymen. The Revelation is set forth both as a letter and as a drama; with the major part devoted to the dramatic form of the book. The dramatic arrangement of the Biblical text and concise interpretations of it appear on facing pages of the book. There are seven acts, each act with seven scenes. In addition, like the dramatic literature of its own day, it has a Prologue and an Epilogue. The Prologue contains only two short speeches – a herald introduces John’s readers to the “star” of the drama; the Coming One who is to save and judge all men, and the Lord God himself speaks. Act I contains a series of seven scenes presenting a realistic picture of the historic Church with all her failings and victories. Jesus Christ is seen walking in the midst of the Church as her Lord. Act II transfers us to heaven, with the Church seated around the Throne of God. A series of Pageants represent God’s purpose in history, and dramatize John’s philosophy of history. That the Lamb instigates the movement taking place throughout means that it is he through whom God’s purposes are accomplished. Acts III and IV depict the eschatological event as these are experiences by the Church, resulting in the Church’s eventual salvation. Acts V and VI set forth the same series of events as those in Acts III and IV but with the purpose of showing how these tribulations will affect the pagan world and its culture. The end here will be judgment and God’s final condemnation of this world and culture. Act VII presents us with a picture of the Church enthroned with Christ before whom a series of pageants show the passing away of the old and the appearing of the new heavens and earth, the final judgment and the New Jerusalem. Only the Church has “the eyes to see” these things.


Audio Sample

ONE VERSE & REFRAIN
played on piano

Scripture References

  • Psalm 11:4-7
  • Psalm 29
  • Isaiah 6:1-8
  • Habakkuk 2:18-20
  • Romans 12
  • 2 Corinthians 6:16
  • Ephesians 2:19-21
  • Hebrews 1:1-12
  • Hebrews 4:14-16
  • Revelation 1:1-19
  • Revelation 21:1-6
  • Revelation 22:1-2

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Celebration
  • Love∶ living love
  • Praise

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