In Christ Alone by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, 2000.
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.
Observe: Today’s song is the song that launched a new wave in church hymnody. After decades of praise songs, not much more could (or needed) to be done in that genre of music.
In 2000, Keith Getty was introduced to Stuart Townend. Both songwriters believed that the songs of the church should proclaim the rich depths of its theology. They decided to try collaborating on one song that, as Getty said, tells the whole story of the gospel. Getty said, “Let’s have as many verses as we need to tell the entire redemptive story.’
Choosing from a range of melodies, Keith settled on one that reflected the Irish Congregational style, and Stuart wrote the lyrics. Verse 1 is the overarching message of the unchanging gospel and the hope it has always provided Christians through the fiercest drought and storm.
The succeeding verses tell the redemptive story, from manger to cross. Take the next moments to read thoughtfully through the song as it flows from incarnation to earthly ministry, rejection, passion, death, and glorious resurrection. Truly this is sound doctrine in song and a way to sing the truth into our hearts in this modern world.
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.
The anxiety over the pandemic, the shutdown of daily life, the stress of a collapsing economy, and the events of these last few days, one thing is sure. God is sovereign, and He has given Jesus command over all things, especially the destiny of every believer. By faith alone, we are his, and nothing can pluck us from his hand. Rest in that promise today.
Blessings, Pastor Don.