Shall We Gather at the River?

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

—Revelation 22:1


Shall We Gather at the River?
by Robert Lowry

1 Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod;
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?

Refrain:
Yes, we’ll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.

2 On the margin of the river,
Washing up its silver spray,
We will walk and worship ever,
All the happy golden day. [Refrain]

3 Ere we reach the shining river,
Lay we ev’ry burden down;
Grace, our spirits will deliver,
And provide a robe and crown. [Refrain]

4 Soon, we’ll reach the shining river,
Soon our pilgrimage will cease;
Soon our happy hearts will quiver
With the melody of peace. [Refrain]

This has long been one of my favorite Christian hymns. I used to sing it often back when I was my old church’s song leader. “Shall We Gather at the River?” or simply “At the River” are the popular names for the traditional Christian hymn originally titled “Beautiful River.” The song’s lyrics refer to the Christian concept of the anticipation of restoration and reward and reference the motifs found in Revelation 22:1–2—a crystal clear river with the water of life, issuing from the throne of heaven, all presented by an angel of God.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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