September 20, 2019

The Editor speaks: “The Power of the Cross”

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Colin Wilson

I hope you had a wonderful and blessed Easter.

I am actually writing this the day before Easter Sunday and Holy Week started for me on Sunday 14th.

First Baptist Choir

I was at Cayman Islands First Baptist Church for their Festival of Easter Glory -“He Is Risen”. I have listened to most of the church choirs on Grand Cayman over the many years and consistently the choir this church has been one, if not, the best.

“The Power of the Cross” First Baptist

Last Sunday their performance was magnificent. We shouldn’t go to church to be entertained. I have to admit I was entertained along with the powerful message that the choir gave us. The terrible death Christ suffered to save us from sin, set to music that stirred my soul and brought me, along with many others in attendance, to tears.

What a start.

Cayman Male Voice Choir Elmslie

Next was Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, both at Elmslie Memorial Church. Good Friday also saw me at St George’s Anglican Church for their three hour devotional, that was longer but didn’t seem to be even three hours. That same evening I was back at Elmslie to hear the Cayman Islands Male Voice Choir’s cantata “Then Came The Morning”. Also performing were New Directions, and McCleary Frederick

New Dirctions – Elmslie Church

Wonderful, moving, and they glorified God to the full.

McCleary Frederick Elmslie

Now I’m coming to the main point of my Editorial.

Starting last Sunday and concluding on Friday there was one song sung at four of the five events above. Each time it received the biggest applause.

The same song, but performed differently. The same message, but emphasized differently. The same musical score but arranged differently.

As I listened to each one I was moved unashamedly to tears.

The song is “The Power of the Cross” written by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. The most popular version is the ones (I know of three but there may be more) performed by Keith’s wife, Kristyn.

It is a modern piece of work about fifteen years old. Searching i couldn’t find the exact date but it would seem 2005 is the best guess. However, it is only in the last ten that it has become so popular, and gaining all the time.

In Stuart Townend’s own words this is his synopsis – “The song paints the picture of that Good Friday when Christ was tried, beaten, nailed to a cross, suffered and died, and the chorus tries to explain the significance of it all. Then the last verse effectively paints us into that picture, for it is our name written in His wounds.”

I leave you with the lyrics and if you haven’t heard it performed go to YouTube. It seems every choir and orchestra have posted their renderings of it. But play Kristyn Getty’s version first.

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the power of the cross:
Christ became sin for us,
Took the blame, bore the wrath:
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face
Bearing the awesome weight of sin;
Every bitter thought,
Every evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

Now the daylight flees,
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
‘Finished!’ the victory cry.

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death,
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This, the power of the cross:
Son of God, slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Stuart Townend & Keith Getty Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music (Adm. by CapitolCMGPublishing.com excl. UK & Europe, adm. by Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family, songs@integritymusic.com)

Images are from The First Baptist Church and Cayman Male Voice Choir/New Direction – 2019 – Georgina Wilcox.

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