HYMN FOR ADVENT III Soon and Very Soon We Are Going to See the King
Text and Tune: André Crouch (1942-2015).
1 Soon and very soon we are goin' to see the King, Soon and very soon we are goin' to see the King, Soon and very soon we are goin' to see the King, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, we are goin' to see the King!
2 No more cryin' there we are goin' to see the King, No more cryin' there we are goin' to see the King, No more cryin' there we are goin' to see the King, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, we are goin' to see the King!
3 No more dyin' there we are goin' to see the King, No more dyin' there we are goin' to see the King, No more dyin' there we are goin' to see the King, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, we are goin' to see the King!
4 Soon and very soon we are goin' to see the King, Soon and very soon we are goin' to see the King, Soon and very soon we are goin' to see the King, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, we’re are goin' to see the King!
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
The lessons for Advent in the C series of the New Revised Lectionary focus on John the Baptist and his preaching. Before, these themes were more likely to be found at the end of the church year when the last things and judgment were lifted up for people to ponder. They are apocalyptic and looking forward to the end of time when Jesus comes again, as per this very popular song of André Crouch. Crouch, the son of pastors who served the church where he and his sister served after their parents' death, was deeply into Scripture. His songs are the experienced Bible which hymnody at its best should be
This song points us to the joyful reunion with our Lord portrayed in the Book of Revelation, especially Chapters 7, 21-22. When we see the king, he will wipe away our tears and give us eternal life. Sin, death and the devil will be vanquished and there will be joy all around.
I grew up with preachers who would depict the terrors of the last days and urge us to make things right with the Lord so we would inherit the joys of the kingdom of heaven. That strategy is fine with me—the end has eternal significance and people need to be confronted with it—but another strategy is to paint the joys of meeting the King as beautiful and glorious. This does that.
Lately, given the state of the world and my advancing age, I have thought more and more about the ending, my own and that of the world. Luther is often quoted as saying if he heard the Lord were coming tomorrow he would plant an apple tree, meaning he would keep on faithfully in his vocation, not quitting everything to sit on the edge of a hill awaiting the Lord’s return. Being ready for the Lord to return means keeping on. That can be done when one has tended to the ultimate questions and made things right between God and you. Then we can go about our daily tasks freely and faithfully while joyfully anticipating the time when all the sorrows and griefs of our day will end and we will be at home with God
Such faith allows one, in a sense, to be in heaven already because the Lord is present with us. When he is near, as Scripture says, the kingdom of heaven is near. God assured Moses that he was as near as his mouth when he spoke of him. Exodus 30:14. And Jesus told us that wherever two or three are gathered in his name, he is there.
Because I was raised and have lived my life drenched in the Word, I have very little idea of not being near God. Sometimes in moments of doubt, I wonder what that would be like. Then panic overcomes me. I can see how bereft I would be. Maybe that is what it means not to be close to the Lord or have the confidence of faith? Being bereft, abandoned, out to sea. That sense of panic is really one of not being connected to any meaning, or power beyond oneself.
As I noted last week deep thinkers are talking about the psychology of our times and our society—people are lonely and disassociated from others. They are grasping for meaning. There are monstrous consequences for us if they seek meaning in tyranny which can feel safer and give one a community, no matter how bad. But imagine our opportunity! To speak to people about the Lord Jesus and in so doing give them a foretaste of the joys that await them and us all when we are given the faith—with its connections to the solid rock—the confidence to look toward his coming again. Maranatha!
This hymn appeared in 1976 and has remained Crouch’s most popular, appearing in over fifty current hymnals. Crouch, raised in a pastors’ family, learned very early to play the piano since there was no musician in the small church where his parents were pastors. By the age of eleven he was playing and composing music for the church New Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ in Pacoima, California. In 1965 in a group he formed known as the Disciples he worked with many in the contemporary Christian movement, especially Ralph Carmichael. He won nine Grammies for his music. After his parents died in the 1990s, he and his twin sister served the congregation in Pacoima. In December 2014, he became ill with pneumonia and congestive heart failure. He died on January 8, 2015.
The Gaithers with André Crouch
Offical version: André Crouch and Jessie Dixon not long before he died