195. Our God Reigns

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him
who brings good news, good news,
announcing peace, proclaiming news of happiness:
our God reigns, our God reigns.
Our God reigns, our God reigns.
Our God reigns, our God reigns.

Text Information
First Line: How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him
Title: Our God Reigns
Versifier: Leonard E. Smith, Jr. (1974)
Refrain First Line: Our God reigns
Meter: PM
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ;
Topic: Biblical Names & Places: Jerusalem; King, God/Christ as; Preaching (5 more...)
Copyright: © 1974, 1978, L. E. Smith, Jr., New Jerusalem Music. Used by permission. Author has given permission to allow the text to be viewable on this website
Tune Information
Harmonizer: Dale Grotenhuis (1984)
Composer: Leonard E. Smith, Jr. (1974)
Meter: PM
Key: B♭ Major
Copyright: Text and music © 1974, 1978, L. E. Smith, Jr., New Jerusalem Music. Used by permission.

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. = Isa. 52:7

Isaiah 52:7 speaks of "good news," originally referring to Israel's delivery from captivity and return to Jerusalem. Today Christians sing these words to celebrate our delivery from sin through Christ
(Rom. 10:15-16), who brings salvation and a restoration of God's rule, resulting in peace and happiness. The song text combines Isaiah's message with the theme that rings throughout the Psalms: God reigns!

Leonard E. Smith, Jr., (b. Philadelphia, PA, 1942) composed this song in 1973 in Riverton, New Jersey. Educated at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where he received a BA in philosophy, Smith first taught in public high schools, but his evangelical efforts in the schools created problems, resulting in his dismissal. He then began painting houses to support his family.

One night as he was reading Isaiah 52 he was overwhelmed by the conviction that God was in control of his life and of all creation; he wrote this song that night in just five minutes. The song was first sung at New Covenant Community Church, where Smith served as worship leader. Though not published for some time, it became known internationally when evangelist Bob Mumford included it in his crusades. It was first published in a Servant Publications hymnal, Songs of Praise (vol. 2, 1977). In 1978 Smith added four additional verses. He has published over 130 Scripture songs with New Jerusalem Music Co.

Liturgical Use:
Mission services; ordination services; Epiphany; Pentecost; Ascension. The chorus alone can be used as an acclamation, especially in informal services, or it can be used as a frame to surround another hymn such as "Sing Praise to the Lord" (466), or, if transposed to C major, added to Psalm 93 or 97.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

OUR GOD REIGNS is an effective tune that gains its strength and popularity from its powerful chorus, in which hammer-stroke chords (in the style of George F. Handel's oratorios) proclaim "Our God reigns!"
Dale Grotenhuis (PHH 4) harmonized the tune in 1984 for the Psalter Hymnal. OUR GOD REIGNS lends itself to either unison or part singing. One of the most widely used Scripture choruses of praise, "Our God Reigns" gained popularity in the Christian Reformed Church when it was a theme song for Christian Reformed Home Missions.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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