Wayne S. Walker

“…And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain…” (Rev. 21:3-4)

     INTRO.:  A song which focuses our attention on that land where there shall be no more death, sorrow, crying, or pain is “Won’t It Be Wonderful There? (#192 in Hymns for Worship Revised, #356 in Sacred Selections for the Church).  The text was written by James Rowe (1865-1933).  Rowe provided words for a number of other well-known gospel songs such as “Our King Immanuel,” “He’s My King,” “Wonderful Jesus,” “After the Shadows,” “Home of the Soul,” “I Have Been Redeemed,” “Ring Out the Message,” “Looking to Thee,” “I Walk with the King,” “I Choose Jesus,” “You Never Mentioned Him to Me,” and “Love Lifted Me.”  The tune for “Won’t It Be Wonderful There?” was composed by Homer Franklin Morris, who was born at Draketown, GA, on Mar. 4, 1875, the son of W. T. and Mary J. Morris.  Reared in Georgia, he attended public schools there and developed a keen interest in music, pursuing that study with many of the leading teachers of that day. 

     When Morris was ten he began singing, and then started his teaching career when he was just sixteen.  A Baptist, he married Elizabeth Kirk in 1898, and they had seven children.  During his life, he taught hundreds of singing schools in many states, compiled a number of songbooks, and produced more than a thousand gospel songs, providing both words and music.  For many years he was the president and manager of the Morris-Henson Company which he founded with another songwriter John M. Henson (1887-1972).  Their books had wide circulation, but after some years he sold his interest and came to Dallas, TX, to work as a music editor with the Stamps-Baxter Music and Printing Company.  This song was copyrighted by Morris in 1930 and first published by the Stamps-Baxter Co., who renewed the copyright in 1958.  Morris is also credited with the arrangement for “You Never Mentioned Him To Me,” the text for “Resurrection” with music by Thomas B. Mosley, and the tune for Henson’s “Anywhere Is Home.”  Just a few weeks short of attaining his eightieth birthday, Morris died on Jan. 25, 1955, and was buried in Atlanta, GA. 

     Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, “Won’t It Be Wonderful There?” appeared in the 1940 Complete Christian Hymnal edited by Marion Davis; the 1952 Hymns of Praise and Devotion edited by Will W. Slater; the 1959 Majestic Hymnal No. 2 and the 1978 Hymns of Praise both edited by Reuel Lemmons; the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch; the 1971 Songs of the Church, the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed., and the 1994 Songs of Faith and Praise all edited by Alton H. Howard; the 1978/1983 Church Gospel Songs and Hymns edited by V. E. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Hymns for Worship and Sacred Selections.  In more recent books, it may be found in the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat; and the 2009 Favorite Songs of the Church and the 2010 Songs for Worship and Praise both edited by Robert J. Taylor Jr.

     The song looks forward to the time when we shall receive eternal life in the presence of God.

I. Stanza 1 talks about entering the glory-land

“When with the Savior we enter the glory-land,

Won’t it be wonderful there?

Ended the troubles and cares of the story-land,

Won’t it be wonderful there?”

 A. The biggest joy of heaven will being with the Savior: Phil. 3:20

 B. Our hope is to be with the Savior who was taken into the land of glory: 1 Tim. 3:16

 C. Then will be ended all the troubles and cares of the story-land, which refers to this life: Job 14:1

II. Stanza 2 talks about walking with Christ

“Walking and talking with Christ, the supernal One,

Won’t it be wonderful there?

Praising, adoring the matchless eternal One,

Won’t it be wonderful there?”

 A. In heaven, we shall walk with Christ, the supernal one, because as our Shepherd He will lead us to the living fountains of water: Rev. 7:17

 B. There we shall also talk with Him because we shall be in the very presence of Him who is now seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens: Heb. 8:1

 C. And we shall praise and adore the matchless, eternal one along with the redeemed of all ages: Rev. 5:11-12

III. Stanza 3 talks about being free from the tempests of life

“There where the tempest will never be sweeping us,

Won’t it be wonderful there?

Sure that forever the Lord will be keeping us,

Won’t it be wonderful there?”

 A. The tempests refer to the trials, tribulations, and temptations of life which we must endure to receive in order to have the crown of life: Jas. 1:12

 B. Freed from these tempests, we shall be forever with the Lord: 1 Thess. 4:16-17

 C. And we can be sure that the Lord will be keeping us, just as surely as He has kept us here by faith through His power: 1 Pet. 1:3-5

     CONCL.:  The chorus expresses joy and praise for all the blessings of heaven to be received.

“Won’t it be wonderful there

Having no burdens to bear?

Joyously singing, with heart-bells all ringing

O, won’t it be wonderful there?”

We all face difficulties and problems which are part of our lives here on earth.  However, God, by His grace, has made it possible for us through Christ to be able to have the expectation of being with in heaven where we can truly say, “Won’t It Be Wonderful There?”

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