I love the theme of the 2016 Youth Gathering: In Christ Alone. If you havenât read it yet, check out the thematic primer for an in-depth study of the theme. We find the roots of this message in Paul’s book to the Philippians. The theme echoes the tenants of our Lutheran faith: Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Scripture Alone.
There is also a powerful, modern hymn that bears the same name, In Christ Alone. I would like to take time to reflect on the lyrics of this hymn, especially as it makes a strong connection to our current Lenten reflections.
If you’d like, listen along as you read:
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
In the first verse, I am reminded of several passages of Scripture. As the melody of the song streams through your mind, let your fingers take a walk through the Bible and look at these passages: Psalm 62:5-8; John 8:12; Psalm 28:6-9; Ephesians 2:19-22; Romans 8:38-39; Ephesians 3:16-19. What verses come to mind when you reflect on your Savior Jesus? Share them in the comment section below.
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
In my Lenten reflections, I often find myself following Christ’s journey from the cradle to the cross. The second verse of Keith Getty and Stuart Townend’s song takes the same route. Christ’s journey reflects the message of our salvation. Christ’s actions are the fulfillment of God’s promises. Read Romans 6:3-4.
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
Although our Lenten worship is more focused on the passion of Christ, we know the story does not end with the cross but leads to the empty tomb. All of the sin that is a part of our lives and this world finds its release in the resurrection of Jesus. We live in confidence that Christ has conquered everything. We can stand because of Christ alone!
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 life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ shape our lives. When this Lenten season is ends, the journey from cradle to cross moves heavenward. The hope of the resurrection points to Christ’s ascension. Like the disciples, we look to God’s Word and anticipate Christ’s glorious return. This is what we will celebrate at the 2016 Youth Gathering. Until the next blog…