Sunday, March 20, 2011


Ask ye what great thing I know,
that delights and stirs me so?
What the high reward I win?
Whose the name I glory in?
Jesus Christ, the crucified.

Who defeats my fiercest foes?
Who consoles my saddest woes?
Who revives my fainting heart,
healing all its hidden smart?
Jesus Christ, the crucified.

Who is life in life to me?
Who the death of death will be?
Who will place me on his right,
with the countless hosts of light?
Jesus Christ, the crucified.

This is that great thing I know;
this delights and stirs me so:
faith in him who died to save,
him who triumphed o'er the grave:
Jesus Christ, the crucified.
- Johann C. Schwedler, 1741; trans. by Benjamin H. Kennedy, 1863

While we're on the subject of creeds, it's important to remember that there must be a heart connection to the beliefs we claim.  Knowledge is necessary, but it's only a beginning place.  If not, it's just academic.  It doesn't have a grip on our life.  

Let's say I started off believing all the right things about the woman I'm married to.  I could believe she's a wonderful woman, that she'd make a great wife, you know, that sort of thing.  Those are obviously necessary beliefs in order to form a relationship, but if I stopped there, would there be a relationship?  Not hardly.  I'd probably just be a creepy dude that stared a lot. 

A cerebral belief in the truths of the Apostle's Creed is a great first step, but if you don't move past that first stage, there is no relationship.  The truth lives in your mind, but it doesn't abide in your heart.

That's why I love the way this text personalizes those beliefs about Christ.  "Whose the name I glory in" is a worshipful heart response to the head knowledge that Christ is the Son of God and came to save. 

I tried to find a good vocal arrangement of this text on video, but it apparent doesn't exist, so here's what the tune sounds like

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