Build Your Kingdom Here

Hymnology: Build Your Kingdom Here

Walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
~1 Thessalonians 2:12

Hymn Story

Since they burst onto the scene in 2010, people have used a lot of different adjectives to try to describe Rend Collective: folk, indie, hipster, pop… but none seem to fit them perfectly. So perhaps it’s best to let them classify themselves. “We are a celebration band… We would far rather be defined by joy, fun, freedom and laughter than any genre title or pop-culture label,” says band leader Gareth Gilkeson. Their hit song “Build Your Kingdom Here” certainly exemplifies those values!

Rend Collective is a Northern Irish band which first met as part of a “group of confused twenty-somethings trying to figure out faith, life, God and community” in a ministry called Rend, which was pastored by Gilkeson. The group’s name was taken from two verses in the Old Testament.

Isaiah 64:1 reads, “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence,” while Joel 2:13 exhorts readers to “rend your heartsand return to the Lord, who is gracious and merciful. The name is meant to express the dual truths that it is God who must (and will!) act to accomplish His purposes, but He expects and equips us to act as well. Many of the band’s songs, including “Build Your Kingdom Here,” focus on the ways in which we worship God as He works through us.

One interesting fact about the band’s Dove Award-nominated music video for this song is that one half was filmed in Northern Ireland, while the other half was filmed in the South of Ireland, a subtle form of political activism given the history of conflict between those two regions. It’s just one more manifestation of the band’s thoughtful focus on unity. Check out the video:

While the flame-juggling and other visual elements make for a compelling video, it is the band’s musicianship that really makes them shine, as you can see in this live acoustic performance:

Lyrics

Come, set Your rule and reign
In our hearts again.
Increase in us we pray,
Unveil why we’re made.
Come set our hearts ablaze with hope
Like wildfire in our very souls.
Holy Spirit, come invade us now.
We are Your Church.
We need Your power in us.

We seek Your kingdom first.
We hunger and we thirst;
Refuse to waste our lives,
For You’re our joy and prize.
To see the captive hearts released,
The hurt; the sick; the poor at peace.
We lay down our lives for Heaven’s cause.
We are Your church.
We pray revive this Earth

Build Your kingdom here,
Let the darkness fear!
Show Your mighty hand,
Heal our streets and land.
Set Your church on fire,
Win this nation back.
Change the atmosphere,
Build Your kingdom here,
We pray!

Unleash Your kingdom’s power,
Reaching the near and far.
No force of hell can stop
Your beauty changing hearts.
You made us for much more than this;
Awake the kingdom seed in us,
Fill us with the strength and love of Christ.
We are Your church.
We are the hope on Earth.

Hymn Study

As we sing this hymn, two things ought to be happening. First, we ought to celebrate! The music itself is so joyful, and so energetic, that it is hardly possible not to want to celebrate our great God! The church has great need of joyful music. Joy strengthens us (Nehemiah 8:10). Joy is evidence that God is with us (Psalm 16:11). Joy is a hallmark of God’s kingdom (Romans 14:17).

This song should also overwhelm us with a sense of God’s sovereignty, even over our own good works. Here is just a sampling from the song of things that God does, and things that we are to do:

God’s Work

  • God rules & reigns
  • God indwells us with the Holy Spirit
  • God reveals to us His purposes in creating us and all things
  • God revives the Earth
  • God builds His kingdom
  • God changes hearts and wins nations
  • God fills His people with the strength and love of Christ

Man’s Work

  • We pray
  • We acknowledge our dependence upon God’s power
  • We seek the Kingdom of God
  • We hunger and thirst for righteousness
  • We lay down our lives

Hallelujah! May the Lord build His kingdom here, and may he use us to do it!

You can learn more about Rend Collective on their website. This song is available on their album, “Homemade Worship By Handmade People”.

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