Hymn Story

Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates

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The German pastor, George Weissel, was inspired by Psalm 24 to write this hymn.  That psalm says:

Lift up your heads, you gates;
yes, lift them up, you everlasting doors,
and the King of glory will come in.
Who is this King of glory?
Yahweh of Armies is the King of glory! (Psalm 24:9-10).

In that psalm, David was calling the people of Jerusalem to prepare for the coming of the Ark of the Covenant into the city—the Ark that was destined to reside in the Holy of Holies, the holiest part of the temple—the Ark that represented the presence of the Lord among the people.  David was calling his people to open the gates so that the Lord could enter their city—so that God could dwell among them and be Lord of their lives.

In like manner, this hymn calls us to open the gates of our hearts so that the Lord can enter there.  It calls us to make our heart a temple—a holy place fit for the Lord’s presence—a place “adorned with prayer and love and joy.”

As we sing this hymn, consider whether you have invited God to dwell in your heart.  Consider whether you have invited God to dwell in your home.  Consider whether you have welcomed God to be a part of your life.

— Copyright 2006, Richard Niell Donovan