Hymns & Songs

Helping others to taste the length and breadth of God’s love

Feb 2010    

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
fi rm 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
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
Th is gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
Th e wrath of God was satisfi ed –
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:
Th en 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,
Th is is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to fi nal 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.

© 2002, Stuart Townend and Keith Gety

IN THE ECCLESIAL WORLD where the chasm between Praise and Worship songs in relation to Hymns seems to be growing wider, this work by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty appears to contradict the unspoken and unsettling sentiment among some quarters of the church that hymns are becoming extinct in the 21st century.

Ranked No. 9 in the 2005 BBC Songs of Praise most popular list and No. 2 in the CCLI Australia list currently, this song tends to get more air time in a contemporary worship

setting rather than in a traditional/liturgical worship setting. While this song may be perceived by some to come from the Praise and Worship segment, in analysing its musical and textual structure, this popular “praise and worship” song is a hymn instead.

It is a hymn if we understand a hymn as a musical work that conveys sequential development of a theological thought. Townend’s creative effort brings forth a strong Christological focus that is befitting this month of February.

For it is around this time that the expectant hope of a “good” year (Lunar/Chinese New Year) is lived in tension with the lament of our human failings that put Christ on the cross in the season of Lent.

Ultimately, this situation ought to remind us that, Jesus commands [our] destiny.

No power of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck [us] from His hand; Till He returns or calls [us] home, Here in the power of Christ [we’ll] stand.

The question that we ought to ask then is how might we appropriate this truth of God’s steadfast care and amazing grace for ourselves?

How might this truth govern the way we live our lives? How do we spend our lives to be witnesses for God?

It was sad for me to hear that the Boys’ Brigade organisation was struggling to meet its target of gifting to the needy in Singapore during the recent Christmas period.

Did we as God’s people make every effort to help them serve the underprivileged and enable them to experience the hope that is Christ?

I think it is time that we get our priorities right. It is time that we help our neighbours and enable them to taste the length and breadth of God’s love. What the world needs is not more “Donald Trumps”. It needs men like “Doubting Thomas” who, despite his failings, brought the Word of God from Jerusalem to India.

Having known the power of God’s Christ, may we seek to offer our lives as a sacrificial gift to God for His use in the establishment of His Kingdom. This is our worship and our only response to God’s amazing grace through the work of Christ. Amen!

For more information, see the following: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8welVgKX8Qo accessed 2 January 2010 http://www.crosswalk.com/1275127/ accessed 2 January 2010. http://www.stuarttownend.co.uk/bio accessed 2 January 2010. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stuart-Townend/17781119397 accessed 2 January 2010.


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