The Kingdom of God is Justice and Joy

This hymn about God's kingdom was written by Welsh Congregational minister Bryn Austin Rees (1911-1983). It was written in 1973 and first published in 1974.

Verse 2 originally started "The kingdom of God is mercy and grace, the lepers are cleansed, the sinners find place" but most users and some publishers have changed this to "The kingdom of God is mercy and grace, the captives are welcomed, the sinners find place,"

With meter, tunes it is set to include:
  • TETHERDOWN by organist and composer Gerald Barnes (b 1935) - this tune was written for the text, and is named for the church in Muswell Hill, London, where Rees served as minister from 1950 to 1962.
  • LAUDATE DOMINUM (Parry) by C. Hubert H. Parry (1848-1918)
  • HANOVER (Croft) by English organist and composer William Croft (1678-1727)
  • PADERBORN - from Paderborn Gesangbuch, 1765, harmonised by Sydney H. Nicholson (1875–1947)
  • OUT SKERRIES by Paul Bateman (b 1954

It is included in a number of hymn-books, including The Celebration Hymnal for Everyone, Mission Praise and Sing the Faith Plus, and these are the best source of sheet music for it today.

It is not the same as the Taizé chorus "The Kingdom of God is Justice and Peace" despite the similarity of first lines.

It does not appear to have been registered with any of the major church-copyright organisations:  the copyright owner is named as Mrs. Olwen Scott in some on-line sources, while the 2012 edition of The Celebration Hynmal for Everyone names Mrs Morfydd E Rees, St Benedict's Abbey, Charlbury Grove, Ealing, London W52DY.

God's spledour in the mountains


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Choir with organ:

Virtual choir with keyboard and wind-instruments:

Singer with piano:

Instrumental - piano and electronic organ, with on-screen words. Tune - PADERBORN

Instrumental - organ. Tune - TETHERDOWN

instrumental - organ, tune HANOVER:


The lyrics are copyright so cannot be reproduced here. But they are currently available on this website.  A rough outline is:
1 The kingdom of God is justice and joy ...

2 The kingdom of God is mercy and grace ...

3 The kingdom of God is challenge and choice ...

4 God's kingdom is come, the gift and the goal ...

See more ....

The kingdom of God is justice and joy; for Jesus restores what sin would destroy. God's power and glory in Jesus we know and here and hereafter the kingdom shall grow. 2 The kingdom of God is mercy and grace; the captives are freed, the sinners find place, the outcast are welcomed God's banquet to share; and hope is awakened in place of despair. 3 The kingdom of God is challenge and choice: believe the good news, repent and rejoice! His love for us sinners brought Christ to his cross: our crisis of judgement for gain or for loss. 4 God's kingdom is come, the gift and the goal; in Jesus begun, in heaven made whole. The heirs of the kingdom shall answer his call and all things cry Glory! to God all in all.

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