Why This Song?
At Illumine, our theme verse is Isaiah 60:1, so it makes sense that we would look for an arrangement of the third song of Isaiah (Isaiah 60:1-19) and we found a great one. Jered McKenna’s arrangement has become something like a theme song for us. We use it quite regularly and have ever since our first service (before I even got here).
A friend of mine is fond of saying, “The best songs let us sing the Scriptures.” This song is a perfect example of that. McKenna does an excellent job of adapting the words of Isaiah into a more metered and rhythmic form while still maintaining the concepts as well as entire phrases from the original text.
The verses feature the call to action (“Arise!”) while the bridge and the chorus reflect on the great joy we will have when the nations will gather together to bask in the love of our Lord and the glory of his name.
Use in Worship
While we have had great success using this in worship and our congregation does an excellent job singing along, I would like to make a recommendation. Do not print the music in the bulletin (or wherever you would normally print music).
While the melody is catchy and easy to pick up, the written out music is tricky to read as there are lots of tricky or unusual rhythms. This is one best learned by rote.
While this text is often used in association with Advent or Epiphany (and those are great choices), it also works well at either the opening or the closing of just about any service.