This past week we sang the hymn Before the Throne in corporate worship and you guys knocked it out of the park. The voices of God’s people singing such great theology to God and one another by memory was beautiful. Thanks for taking this exercise so seriously.
This month we’re gonna memorize In Christ Alone by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. I wish more current singer/songwriters would write songs of such depth and beauty. I’ve talked to folks who assume that this is a hymn written hundreds of years ago, but it was written in 2002. The reason it has that feel is that the songwriters wanted to create a “modern hymn”. Another one of Townend’s songs we sing, that has that same feel and teaching depth, is How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.
Stuart Townend was the youngest of 4 kids and raised in West Yorkshire, England. His dad was a vicar in the Church of England. He desires to write songs that capture biblical truth in ways that prompt believers to worship in singing, but even more be built up in their living for Jesus. Getty, an Irish composer, shares that same passion for songwriting.
In 2002 with a melody in Townend’s head, he and Getty, they started writing and in their words, “the theme of the life, death, resurrection of Christ, and the implications of that for us just began to tumble out”.
Townend’s commitment to singing theology are reflected in this statement, “I think content is vitally important to our corporate worship, sometimes great melodies are let down by indifferent or clichéd words. It’s the writer’s job to dig deep into the meaning of Scripture and express in poetic and memorable ways the truth he or she finds there. Knowing the truth about God and who we are in Him is central to our lives as believers. Songs remain in the mind in a way sermons do not, so songwriters have an important role and a huge responsibility.”
Sounds like our kind of guy.
Sean, has prepared an mp3 for you to download and serve you as you memorize this classic: In Christ Alone
Here are the lyrics and they speak for themselves:
In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied –
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.