Sunday, 16 June 2013

In Christ Alone

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

Amen, amen, amen. 

I know that this is true. 

How can I know? When faith is believing what we can't see? I don't know. Perhaps I don't really know it. But something inside me reaches for you when I sing these words and I think it's my soul. It's not a conscious reaction; it's instinctive. It's profound. It tells me that these words are truth. 

You are my solid ground. 

So many times I scrabble about looking for hope and light in other places but I come back to you every time. I lean on someone else only to find that they shift and they stumble too. I cast about for help, for advice, for support, for love  - and find that it only reliably comes from you. 

How often I fail to recognise that you are the only solid ground - other areas sometimes seem solid but turn out to be quicksand.

You remain firm. You never change. You stay put. You never let me down. 

You are eternal and everlasting and immutable and all those long words. 

The only problem is me; sometimes I forget. Sometimes I don't even forget; it's more stupid than that. Sometimes I just stop believing it for some reason and I try something else. I look to people for comfort, or to food, or to books, even to sleep.  But it never satisfies for long. I'm sad and worried all over again, I'm hungry again. I still have questions despite the texts. I am soon weary again.

But you are the One who stills fears, who brings peace. 

I stand in your love.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh

Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
'Til 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


My God, what did you do for me? You gave up glory in Heaven to come and be one of us down here. You ate and laughed and wept and taught and loved and did all the things that you did and then you bled and you died. 

As if it were not enough for us to kill you, we mocked you as well. Insult and injury. No, we didn't know what we were doing. You were dying for each and every one of us and we either turned away or spat at you. Even your friends ran and hid. Your own mother watched you die. I don't have the capacity to understand fully what you did but the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end every time I sing this verse. 

You were light itself but you allowed the darkness to engulf you. You knew what would happen but you came and loved us and did it anyway. You, who never did anything wrong, who could at any point have called down lightning from heaven to stop the whole thing and prove your deity. 


You did this for me. 

For me. 

You love me so much that you would come yourself to do what was necessary to 
bring me home. I can never deserve what you did for me.


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


I am so thankful that your story doesn't end with your death. Many stories do end like this; someone does something noble, selfless; he gave his life for his cause, and those stories are wonderful, inspiring, even... but only one ends like this. 

You rose from the dead. 

You came to life again. If even death is not the end, there is nothing that can defeat you. And because of your amazing grace and love for me, I can say that death is not the end for me either, nothing can defeat me. 

There may be many battles but you have won this war. 

You bought me with your blood. You paid the price that needed paying and I am yours. 

Oh, my God. 

Nothing can stop me from one day being with you, because of what you did. You, the living God, the creator of the universe; you, who can see history from the beginning to the end, you, who are the context of everything, the thoughts and dreams and hopes of all your children - you made me free. 
'If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.'  John 8:36
Amen.

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
'til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand


Oh Lord God I so want to live this way. You took away my guilt and yet I keep trying to take it back. You banished fear and yet I can't help hanging onto it. I am quite sure that the power of Christ is somewhat muted in my life, but each day I am trying to let more of it shine through me. I need lots of help.

I am a work in progress. I know that I'm not finished yet. I know that I'm not what I was. I know that I will be better, and most importantly I know that I am loved just how I am. You will never give up on me. You'll never shake your head impatiently and say that if I haven't learned by now then I'll never learn. You always, always, reach down and gently help me to my feet.

Try again. I am loved, imperfect as I am. 

Nothing can separate me from your love. 

Nothing can prevent me from being with you. 

I am saved and I am safe. 

No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from your hand

No power of hell. If you are for me, then who can stand against? I am yours and nothing can change that. All the rubbish that goes on in my life, all the mistakes I make, the voices in my head that tell me I've really messed up this time, it's no good, I'll never amount to anything... nothing matters. 

Only you. And your voice is the one that tells me, 'I am loving you, my daughter. You are precious to me. I will never let you go.'

The other guy? He'll never win. He can cause me no end of trouble but he can't win. I am loved by the true and living God.

I am amazed.

Whether one day - tonight, tomorrow? At the ending of the world? When it's time, when it's all over for me down here I will go home to be with you and I will see you with my own eyes. What a day that'll be. I will be bowing very low on that day. And I believe that you will lift my chin until I look into your eyes and I won't see any condemnation or reproach or disappointment. All there'll be is love;  I'll see how much you love me. 

And then I'll stand in the warmth of your presence with my arms raised high, surrounded by everyone who has ever loved you down through the ages and we'll sing this song until all of creation joins in. 

I can't wait.  

You are my God and I am your child. 

Thank you.




In Christ Alone 
Words and music Stuart Townend & Keith Getty
Copyright 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music

Linking up with Tania Vaughan at Monday Ministry.


8 comments:

  1. Amen and amen. I love this hymn too and it resonates with me in so many ways. When I first sang it I was newly on my own at the last Stoneleigh Bible week and tears streamed down my face as I recognised the truth that "
    No power of hell, no scheme of man
    Can ever pluck me from His hand"
    I still get emotional as I sing it 12 years later .
    Prayers continue for you
    love Janet

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    1. It's just wonderful. Masterpiece of a song. It chokes me up every time.
      Thank you, Janet.

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  2. I love that song! I always feel like shouting by the time we get to the "up from the grave He rose again". One day I might just do it!
    We are going through a Bible study called, "No Other Gods" by Kelly Minter. This speaks into the truths we are learning again.

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    1. Thank you, Ginger. It's a great song; such emotion. Definitely worth a triumphant shout, I reckon. :-)

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  3. Thanks for linking up with Monday Ministry Helen this was so lovely, that is such a fantastic hymn and this really made me get into it in depth. Thanks you

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    1. Thank you for having me, Tania!

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  4. Hi Helen,

    Yes, we shall see how much He loves us, as we look into the eyes of perfect love.

    Thank you for your encouraging post.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. Looking forward to that day.

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