1 HEAD of thy church triumphant,
We joyfully adore thee;
Till thou appear,
Thy members here
Shall sing like those in glory.
We lift our hearts and voices
With blest anticipation,
And cry aloud,
And give to God
The praise of our salvation.
2 While in affliction's furnace,
And passing through the fire,
Thy love we praise,
Which knows our days,
And ever brings us nigher.
We clap our hands exulting
In thine almighty favour;
The love divine
Which made us thine
Shall keep us thine for ever.
3 Thou dost conduct thy people
Through torrents of temptation,
Nor will we fear,
While thou art near,
The fire of tribulation.
The world with sin and Satan
In vain our march opposes,
Through thee we shall
Break through them all,
And sing the song of Moses.
4 By faith we see the glory
To which thou shalt restore us,
The cross despise
For that high prize
Which thou hast set before us.
And if thou count us worthy,
We each, as dying Stephen,
Shall see thee stand
At God's right hand,
To take us up to heaven.
#### What is the meaning of "Head of Thy Church Triumphant" by Charles Wesley?
"Head of Thy Church Triumphant" is a hymn that celebrates the sovereignty and leadership of Jesus Christ over His church. It acknowledges the struggles and trials Christians face on earth but rejoices in the ultimate victory and glory that await believers in heaven. The hymn emphasizes faith, divine protection, and the anticipation of eternal life with Christ.
#### Can you break down the lyrics of "Head of Thy Church Triumphant" chronologically?
In the first stanza, worshippers express adoration for Christ, the head of the church, and eagerly anticipate joining the glorified saints in heaven. This part sets the tone of hope and celebration despite the current separation from the divine glory.
The second stanza reflects on the trials ("affliction's furnace") believers endure, praising God's enduring love and protection through these trials. It speaks to the assurance and confidence believers have in God's care.
The third stanza speaks to the journey through "torrents of temptation" and "the fire of tribulation," asserting that with Christ's guidance, believers can overcome any challenge, including opposition from sin and Satan, drawing parallels to the biblical story of Moses leading the Israelites to freedom.
The final stanza looks forward to the glory believers will witness and be part of, referencing the martyrdom of Stephen as an example of witnessing Christ's glory even in the face of death. It points to the hope of heaven and the eternal reward awaiting faithful believers.
#### What are some Bible verses that relate to the themes in "Head of Thy Church Triumphant"?
**Ephesians 1:22-23** - "And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way." This verse directly relates to Christ's leadership over the church, as mentioned in the hymn.
**Romans 8:37** - "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." This echoes the triumph and victory over trials and tribulations celebrated in the hymn.
**1 Peter 4:12-13** - "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." This passage resonates with the hymn's reflection on enduring suffering with the hope of glory.
**Acts 7:55-56** - "But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 'Look,' he said, 'I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.'" This mirrors the hymn's final stanza, highlighting the hope of witnessing Christ's glory and the promise of heaven, as Stephen did.
Through its lyrics, "Head of Thy Church Triumphant" weaves together these scriptural themes to offer a message of hope, perseverance, and eternal victory in Christ.