New Song: “And We Are Glad” by Joe Pace

This is a new song we are singing this Sunday that was composed by Joe Pace:

Hallelujah, You are worthy
Hallelujah, You get the highest praise
Hallelujah, You are holy
Lord we exalt your name
For you have done great things
Done great things
For you have done great things
Done great things
and we are glad, yes, we are glad
and we are glad, yes, we are glad.

I believe that he was probably reading Psalm 126 when he came up with the line “For You have done great things, and we are glad”. Psalm 126 is one of my favorites. It’s a Psalm of Ascents which means it was written in the context of returning to the temple to present sacrifices and to worship. It was written during the Ezra context when the remnant of the people of God who had been held captive where allowed to return to Jerusalem by the Persian emperor Cyrus. It begins with celebration for what God has done, but it moves into intercession for the captives who still remain in a far away land.

Psalm 126 (NKJV)
A Song of Ascents.
When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion,
We were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us,
And we are glad.

Bring back our captivity, O LORD,
As the streams in the South.

Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him.

“Glad” is a word that feels strange in our world. We might say, “I’m glad to be here”. It has a feeling of mild pleasure. We might use more powerful words today to express the same meaning. It feels good to sing it in worship songs because it has a King James sound to it. I noticed that in the NIV “glad” was changed to “filled with joy” which has the intended meaning.

I like Pace’s song for what it is – a good gathering song to start a service with. I wonder if one could write another verse that would use the form of Psalm 126 to broaden the message of the song to include the lament for what is yet to be restored, maybe change the chords and the feel up to be a little more melancholic. Here’s a quick draft that I came up with:

Holy Father, We are hungry
Holy Father, You can restore our land
Holy Father, We are longing
Lord, let your kingdom come
For you can do great things
Do great things
For you can do great things
Do great things
and we are glad, yes, we are glad
and we are glad, yes, we are glad.

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