Monday, March 29, 2010

The Wonder of the Cross

I sometimes say that I was born about 30 years too late, because I love hymns. Sometimes, however, it's easy to just sing them by rote - verse, chorus, verse, chorus, etc. - without thinking through the words that are coming from our lips. How much more meaningful it is when we slow down and sing the words from our heart.

I love this arrangement of a wonderful old hymn. Allow it to speak to your heart as you meditate on the cross.

by Isaac Watts, 1707

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sov’reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
’Tis all that I can do.


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Pamela said...

I love the hymns...could sit for hours and play (and sing) them at the piano. God uses them to speak to me more lately than ever before in my life.

The Gaither Vocal Band is one of my favorite groups. David Phelps has a wonderful voice.

Have a wonderful day and wonderful Easter.

pscole3467 at gmail dot com

Cathy said...

So beautiful Linda. You are right, too often I hear, but don't really listen to the words. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how beautiful! I grew up with the Baptist Hymnal in one hand and learned almost every hymn by heart. My kids are amazed that I know so many and they know so few. We have attended churches that have comtemporary Christian songs in the services and very little hymn singing. So sad for their generation. The hymns are lost on them.

Mary Lou said...

We sang this last night or yesterday morning one, can't remember which. It always brings tears to my eyes. Our pastor loves all of the old hymns and knows most of them by heart...he will just lead us in them as he is led and the musicians have to scramble to catch up and they do a good job of doing so...all that to say the old hymns are precious and we need to sing a blend of them and praise songs..not just one or the other...thanks for posting this.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

We sang this so much when I was growing up. I remembered almost every word. Thanks for bringing that back to mind. And so appropriate for Holy Week.

quilly said...

It is because of the words that I love the hymns. Many of the new songs that are based on praise and not scripture or story sound nice, but they don't stir my soul like these great old hymns that explain just how I feel.

Carole said...

Don't you ever apologize for loving hymns, Linda! Many have beautiful melodies, but even the words alone are pure inspiration and relevant for today. Someone said that hymns teach theology and I think they were right.

When my daughter was packing in preparation for a summer on the mission field in Indonesia several years ago, she asked me to print out the words of several hymns for her to take so she could use them in her quiet times.

As for the Gaither Vocal Band recording, if that doesn't move you, nothing will!