Amazing Grace: 366 Hymn Stories

April 20
Theodolph of Orleans, 760–82l
Translated by John M. Neale, 1818–1866
The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” (John 12:12, 13)
The triumphant procession began after the disciples obtained the colt (Luke 19:30). They were implicitly obedient in following their Lord’s command, even though it no doubt seemed to be a trivial request. And still today—obedience is the key to our effective service for God.
The Palm Sunday procession also teaches us that our Lord is still leading His people—“bringing many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10), our heavenly Jerusalem, “whose architect builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Our responsibility is to be His faithful follower and to extol His name with our daily praises.
This Palm Sunday hymn was written approximately a.d. 820 by Bishop Theodolph of Orleans, France, while he was imprisoned at the monastery of Angers. Theodolph was well known in his day as a poet, pastor, and beloved bishop of Orleans. When Emperor Charlemagne died in 814, the bishop was put into a monastic prison by Charlemagne’s son and successor, Louis I the Pious, for allegedly plotting against him. A well-known legend has long been associated with this hymn. It is believed by many that a short time before the bishop’s death in 821, Louis was visiting in the area where the bishop was imprisoned and by chance passed under his cell. The bishop is said to have been singing and worshiping by himself. When the emperor heard this particular text being sung, he was so moved by the incident that he immediately ordered the bishop’s release.
All glory, laud and honor to Thee, Redeemer, King, to whom the lips of children make sweet hosannas ring: Thou art the King of Israel, Thou David’s royal Son, who in the Lord’s name comest, the King and blessed One!
The company of angels are praising Thee on high, and mortal men and all things created make reply: The people of the Hebrews with palms before Thee went; our praise and prayer and anthems before Thee we present.
To Thee, before Thy passion, they sang their hymns of praise; to Thee, now high exalted, our melody we raise: thou didst accept their praises—accept the praise we bring, who in all good delightest, Thou good and gracious King!

For Today: Matthew 21:1–17; Mark 11:10; Luke 19:37, 38; John 12:1–16

During this special week, let us consider seriously whether we truly love and serve Christ for any other reason other than for who He is. Let us exalt Him with this hymn—

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