Sunday morning thoughts.

This morning at church we were singing the song Wholly Yours by the David Crowder Band.  I’m familiar with the song, but I think this is the first time I’ve looked at the lyrics while listening to it, and it brought a couple of things to my mind.  Here is the part that stuck-out to me:

I am full of earth
You are heaven’s worth
I am stained with dirt, prone to depravity
You are everything that is bright and clean
The antonym of me
You are divinity
But a certain sign of grace is this
From a broken earth flowers come up
Pushing through the dirt

You are holy, holy, holy
All heaven cries “Holy, holy God”
You are holy, holy, holy
I wanna be holy like You are

You are everything that is bright and clean
And You’re covering me with Your majesty
And the truest sign of grace was this
From wounded hands redemption fell down
Liberating man

I like this song, and I’m definitely not trying to disagree with its message, but some of the wording made me wonder about what is missing in many of our popular messages of the spiritual life.  Part of this song is about juxtaposing the holiness of God with the sinfulness of man, how remarkable it is that He stoops down to make us His.  This is a great truth of the Christian faith, but sometimes I think that our emphasis on the differences between God and man means that we lose the significance of what is also true:  “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)

Because of Jesus, God is no longer “out there” in His holiness, He’s in here, in us.  Not only are we covered in His righteousness, He has transformed our hearts to be righteous.  Our soul used to be defined by its inclination toward depravity, now it is defined by the presence of the Holy Spirit and His activity in renewing us to reflect Jesus.  In its brokenness, our humanity is a distorted picture, a shattered glass of the image of God imprinted on our souls.  But His life enters and becomes one with ours, our souls are inhabited by His life, and the picture is pieced back together.  His mission is restoration of our humanity in all that it was intended to be.

So while I think that the words of this song are not untrue…God is divinity and we have feet of clay… it doesn’t tell the whole story.  While it does speak of our redemption,  I feel like it leaves out the best part.  God didn’t leave us in our sinful state.  He didn’t merely cover our darkness with His light and call it good, He went a step further and transformed our darkness into light.  Larry Crabb says, “But for every Christian person, the soul can be viewed not only as valuable but also as good.”  (The Safest Place on Earth, 96)  Without Jesus, the deepest part of my soul was a place of darkness, emptiness, and longing.   Now, the deepest part of who I am is enlivened by the presence of the Spirit.  He has made me good, He has made me holy.

Christ in you, the hope of glory.



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4 responses to “Sunday morning thoughts.

  1. good thoughts! Myles was talking about this song on the way home and how he never really paid attention to the lyrics before and found them very powerful. I will point out that it is only one song sometimes even in the psalms you only get part of the picture (despair or rejoicing say). I don’t think it’s inappropriate to sing a song that emphasis one aspect of spiritual life over another.
    anyway you should write about that really annoying song “Better Than A Hallelujah” by Amy Grant because I think that is really scripturaly off base and it drives me crazy.

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  2. Yeah, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the song, or anything wrong with presenting one aspect of a spiritual truth. It just had me thinking that in general I think this is the side that gets presented the most, and the other aspects of inner transformation often get left out. The song we sang right after this one actually had the line “Christ in you, the hope of glory” in it! I don’t know that Amy Grant song, I’ll go look up the lyrics. =)

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  3. Maybe we need to be clearer with both messages. It seems to me that people tend to focus on either depravity or righteousness. I see many people grasp one truth and struggle to grasp the other. Sometimes people focus on what’s easy for them to understand, or perhaps the truth that was a struggle to grasp is nearer to their heart, so that’s the truth on which the person focuses? Having been a pretty “moral” person most of my life, I can tend to feel pretty good about myself, and I need to remind myself of the gospel and my depravity. I think people who are prone to act like the “elder brother” from the Prodigal Son Parable are probably like this. Others (and certainly me at times), however, need to be reminded of their righteousness in Christ and their hope because of him. Like you said, I think both are important, but unlike you, I tend to see more people focusing on the hopeful part and neglecting our sinful state apart from Christ.
    I actually see this hope you’re talking about in this song. Despite my dirtiness, God causes flowers to come up through my brokenness. That’s a sign of life, a sign of hope. The author cries to be Holy like God is. He acknowledges through God’s grace, we’re liberated–free to become holy. We can’t truly appreciate that hope we have in Christ without first understanding our depravity and seeing how great our need is for Christ. I agree that the tone of this song is more focused on the depravity part, but using it in a worship service followed by a more hopeful one (like your church did) gives you a more complete experience.

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  4. Pingback: Blogging is a weird thing for me, but I’m back at it. | Let's be honest here…

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