Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (Revelation 14:13)

Bless’d are the dead who die in the Lord,
Theirs is true peace, now, Christ their reward.
Those who are his their inheritance gain:
Rest from all labor, hardship, and pain.

Those left behind bear sorrow and grief,
Theirs is the mournful cry for relief.
Real is the pain, though there’s comfort in this:
God brings his own to heavenly bliss.

Paradise waits for those found in Christ,
Bread and fine wine for feasting unpriced,
Tree bending low with its dozens of fruit,
Waters of life to wet every root.

God for their daylight; Christ for their king.
Saints ’round his throne incessantly sing.
Christ for their ransom; forgiveness for sin.
God for their father; Christ for their kin.

Tears have no place there, sadness no more,
Grace for the weary, balm for the sore.
God will himself kneel to lift every chin,
Peace poured on all, all gladness within.

Ever immortal, ever with breath,
Never again to taste second death,
Sheltered forever from famine and sword,
Bless’d are the dead who die in the Lord.

© 2019 Josh Bishop

What joy will greet us in that place

What joy will greet us in that place
When we with unveiled stare
See in our savior’s ageless face
Our glory mirrored there

What joy! when we, no longer slaves
To flesh and sin and death
Exchange this Egypt’s burning rays
For Canaan’s endless rest

What joy! when sorrows sting no more
What joy! when death has died
What joy! in every loss restored
In tears no longer cried

What joy! when we, the Bride of Christ
Made splendid by his love
Are clothed in festal, spotless white
And seated high above

What joy! to join with saints around
A sea of glass aflame
What joy! when praises loud resound
To glorify his name

What joy! to drink the waters deep
That from God’s temple flow
What joy! to eat from Eden’s tree
What joy! to fully know

We’ve pallid joy while yet we grieve
And toil and long on earth
Impatient waiting to receive
True joy from death — then birth

Lord, bring us safe to Zion’s shore
And grant to us at last
This joy that lives forevermore
What joy! that will not pass

© 2019 Josh Bishop

A revised version of this hymn will be published in a forthcoming hymnal by Cardiphonia Music. © 2019 Cardiphonia Music

Coram Deo (Before the Face of God)

Whatever good I aim to do,
Whatever evil I have done,
My honor small, my virtues few,
My sins and failures — every one —
Are lived before the face of God.
We live before the face of God.

Although it’s calm and comforting
To rest beneath God’s watchful care,
It’s still a rightly fright’ning thing
To bear in sin his wrathful stare.
We can’t escape the gaze of God.
We live before the face of God.

In this they both were glorified,
As there before the Father’s eyes
The righteous Son was crucified.
Look, you, with long-lamenting cries
And see the bloodied face of God.
See there the suff’ring face of God.

I cannot earn what Christ has done,
His sacrifice was gift for me.
Now sighting me God sees his son
And leaves my sins on Calvary.
All this is only grace from God.
We glorify this grace of God.

So when our given time has passed,
When soul and body come apart,
When at the end we breathe our last,
All those who lived in Christ take heart:
You’ll die before the face of God.
We’ll die before the face of God.

But joy will greet us with the dawn,
When, from the tomb as from our beds,
We wake to see that night has gone.
Then lifting from the grave our heads,
We’ll rise before the face of God.
We’ll rise to see the face of God.

There clothed in Christ, our sins washed white,
We’ll sing to him loud songs of praise.
To God all glory, pow’r, and might,
The King of Kings, Ancient of Days.
We’ll finally face the face of God.
All stand to praise this grace of God.

© 2019 Josh Bishop

This hymn will be published in a forthcoming hymnal by Cardiphonia Music.
© 2019 Cardiphonia Music