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  • Writer's picturePastor Jim Stultz

With Shout of Acclamation

               The original writer of that cherished hymn How Great Thou Art was a Swede by the name of Carl Boberg.  Stuart K. Hine did the English translation of the hymn and added what is now the fourth stanza: Hine was a British missionary to Eastern Europe and ministered to many who were displaced from their homes after World War II.  When he returned to Britain he was concerned for the exiled Eastern European community in Britain.  Hine visited a camp in Sussex, England in 1948 where displaced Russians were being held, but where only two were professing Christians. One of them was so longing to go home that it inspired Hine to write the fourth stanza of his English version of the hymn. The fourth stanza reads: “When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, and then proclaim: My God, how great Thou art”. Some may wonder what a shout of acclamation means.  An acclamation is a loud eager expression of approval, assent, or praise.

            The Bible describes the return of Christ for His beloved ones as a joyful event.  The believers in the New Testament were looking forward to that day.  Paul concluded his letter in 1 Corinthians 16:22 with a one-word Greek exclamation: “Maranatha”.  The word has become a watchword among believers.  It means: “Come, O Lord”.

According to 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 the return of Christ for Hs saints will be accompanied by 3 sounds: the shout of the Lord, the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God.  I like to think that there will be a fourth sound.  In the hymn How Great Thou Art we who are waiting and expecting our Lord to return will give Him a “shout of acclamation”.  May all of God’s children be anticipating with delight that glorious day when our Lord takes us home.  May we give Him that jubilant shout of acclamation. Maranatha!

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