There is a false belief out there for some people that all the good music for church was written at least 100 years ago and then there is the false belief that says only good music is stuff written today (or in the last 100 years). Both of those are indeed false.
So, how do we discern if something is fit to be sung in church? Since I’m not a worship pastor, nor have a degree in music, this is not going to hit on anything musically (though I have sung my entire life and can play, I’m not the expert, there are plenty who know so much more than I do). However, the lyrics we sing need to be grounded in truth and useful for the edification of the Body of Christ. This grounding in truth needs to be grounded in the WORD – which is our source for hearing the very Words of God.
All that to say – this modern hymn written by Stuart Townend, is amazing, truth-filled, purposed for edification in the truth of the love of Christ, the GIFT of the Father, and the power of the Cross. I figured it fitting since this week was Valentine’s Day and Easter is only 2 months away! You can click here to hear Stuart talk about this song – which I love hearing (especially with his accent). (And on a side note: he has written some fabulous music – much of what you might even sing in your own church and you don’t even know that it was Stuart Townend).
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrectionWhy should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
Even reading these words and singing through them as I type them – bring pain, introspection, HOPE, and glory only in Christ. There is so much truth here. Sorta like Paul in Romans (almost a gospel in a book) – this is very much one of the gospels in a song for me.
Good thoughts, Kim.
One thing I love about the lyrics is that (in a time when so many songs are written about how WE love God) this song focuses on HIS love for us. Amazing how when we sing about His love for us (rather than our fleeting, changing love for Him) that our hearts are spontaneously filled with adoring love for Him. There’s probably a lesson in there somewhere. (Though I have no problem singing “I Love You, Lord”.)
Oh, and I love the tune, too! It’s a clever tune, written in mixed time signatures, but you wouldn’t know it because it flows so naturally. I think the tune and the lyrics are so anointed, I can’t imagine any other words sung to the same tune!
Often times, we sing it the other way around – our love for him. He is to be praised and exalted. 🙂 We live (and often worship) in a consumer-me mindset