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New Hymn on Passion, Resurrection, and Missions: “Every Knee Shall Bow”

I meditate often on the triumph of Christ’s resurrection and ascension—how it was a complete turnabout of the humility of His crucifixion (Philippians 2:5-11). I think also of the implications of that triumph for Christian missions: that the church has the privilege both of experiencing for ourselves and of extending to others Christ’s victory over sin and death. In light of these great themes and with an eye on Philippians 2:9-11 (“Every knee…Every tongue…”) and Revelation 5:9-10 (“Every tribe…”), Molly Ijames and I have teamed to write a new hymn. I trust that Every Knee Shall Bow will inspire the church to worship her Savior and to take His gospel to the ends of the earth. Grace.

(Thanks to Molly for her relentless work to capture just the right mood and sounds for this piece; thanks to many friends who helped improve the song through their critiques.)

You can download PDF files, hear an MP3 sample, and read explanatory notes at the following links. The text itself is printed out below.



Full Page / Half PageText / Notes & Discussion / MP3


Every Knee Shall Bow

Every knee shall bow to Thee,
Precious Lamb who bowed for me.
No more shall they kneel in scorn;
No more shall Thy crown be thorns.
Shame is shamed, and fear has fled,
For Thou art risen from the dead.
Every knee shall bow to Thee,
Precious Lamb who bowed for me.

Every tongue shall sing to Thee,
Risen Lamb who lives in me.
Vacant is Thy jail-like tomb;
Vanquished are its chains, its gloom.
Thou art free, thus so am I,
And through Thy triumph death shall die!
Every tongue shall sing to Thee,
Risen Lamb who lives in me.

Every tribe shall come to Thee,
Worthy Lamb, so speak through me.
Kingdoms, kindreds, tribes, and tongues—
Out of each shall praise be sung.
Make from every shade and race
A tapestry of lavish grace!
Every tribe shall come to Thee,
Worthy Lamb, so speak through me.

Copyright 2012 ChurchWorksMedia.com. All rights reserved.


7 Responses

  1. This is lovely. For ease of use, would you be willing to link the MP3 to open in a separate page, so your readers can have text and tune open together?

  2. Good idea. Done. :)

  3. This is great Chris. Thanks so much for using your gift in this area for the glory of God. We use one of your songs and will be using more at our church soon.

    Quick question and one that I hesitate to ask because I don’t want it to be misunderstood, but here goes…

    What is the motivation for writing in “thou” and “thee” etc. in modern hymns? I think I might have the answer-rhyme, but just wanted to hear directly from you.

    My family and our church love to sing many of the old hymns and would never give them up, but every once in a while a new hymn is written with older language and it always makes me wonder about the motivation.

  4. Hi, John. Thanks very much for the encouragement.

    I can only answer for me, of course. It’s purely a stylistic thing. Most texts I write use modern forms. Two (this one and Holy, Mighty, Worthy) use archaic pronouns, essentially (a) because the songs have (I think) a more classic, “stately” feel, and (b) because I prefer the sound “ee” to “oo” in those specific places. Nothing theological, if that’s what you’re wondering. Like a photographer going B&W on occasion, I suppose.

  5. Thank you for another beautiful hymn. Our family has memorized several of them, and we are in the process of working on I Love the Church. I’m sure we’ll add this to our favorites too.

  6. I love it already! This hymn is beautiful! I especially like the line “Kingdoms, kindreds, tribes, and tongues—
    Out of each shall praise be sung.”

    Thanks for another great song

  7. Makes sense Chris. I like the going black and white reference!

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