An unlikely tale of unity

“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business;
we are each other’s magnitude and bond.”

― Gwendolyn Brooks

DSC02690
(American Beautyberry bush / Julie Cook / 2015)

Crown Him with many crowns. . .a much beloved and joyful hymn sung in any number of Catholic, Anglican and Protestant churches. How many of us, who have sung this hymn during any given Sunday service, have known that this hymn is as much about Biblical scripture as it is about Christian unity?

Catholics and Protestants have long suffered through a strained relationship of both love and hate–a tenuous relationship that has existed ever since Martin Luther set loose a reformation with all that nailing to a door business.
It’s been a tug of war between acceptance and rejection ever since 1517.

There has been blood shed, heads chopped off, houses of worship destroyed, statues crushed, books burned, the faithful tortured, confessions coerced, beliefs recanted, prayers cursed. . .
all in the name of the proper observance for the Christian faith.

During one such tumultuous time period in this long suffering relationship, a hymn was composed by two vastly different men—Matthew Bridges a Catholic convert and Godfrey Thring an Anglican clergyman. The composition however was not originally intended as a joint effort in unity but rather, in actuality, was a conglomeration of equal time for each opposing team.

In the 1800s there was great tension between the Catholic and Anglican churches. Crown Him with Many Crowns is a wonderful example of how God takes the troubles of man and turns them around for good (Romans 8:28).The song was originally penned in 1851 by Matthew Bridges (1800-1894), who once wrote a book condemning Roman Catholic theology, and then later converted to Catholicism. Bridges wrote six stanzas, based upon Revelations 19:12, “…and on His head were many crowns.”

Godfrey Thring (1823-1903) was a devout Anglican clergyman who was concerned that this popular hymn was allowing Catholic theology to be sung by protestant congregations. And so he wrote six new verses.

The 12 stanzas have been mixed and matched down through the years.
(excerpt taken from Sharefaith.com)

So as we stand in our collective churches this Sunday morning, lifting our voices skyward, may we all be mindful that our faith in the resurrected Son of the Most High God, is the tie that binds us as brothers and sisters–bound by the blood of Christ—one belief, one faith, one Savior, one voice lifting to Heaven. . .

7 comments on “An unlikely tale of unity

  1. Melissa says:

    A resounding Amen!!!

  2. Lynda says:

    We are all sisters and brothers in Christ! Therefore, “let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7) Thank you Julie.

  3. phyllissnipes says:

    Sending this one on out this gorgeous Sunday morning. Beautifully penned!!!

  4. It is truly amazing how much the religious world can argue about definitions. If we could only understand that God didn’t make us all different so we could be carbon copies of each other (both physically and religiously

  5. My goodness, missy, you are just a wellspring of information! What a wonderful post. Man you just keep knocking them out of the ball park like it was as easy as it could be. What a gift you have, my friend. Hugs and love, Natalie 🙂 ❤
    PS. I pray that you have a wonderful time in Ireland, and I'm looking forward to all the good posts that will come of your adventures. Do take good care of yourself. You will be missed and thought of daily. ((((((((hug))))))) That's a huge goodbye hug from moi!

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