Hymn of the Month – And can it be
Powerpoint Pictures: Pictures/Video of famous rescues (e.g. Chilean Miners; Jessica McClure; Miracle on the Hudson
History is full of some incredible rescues.
You may have heard about some of them.
Do you remember those Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 68 days before they were rescued?
May you know the story of an 18-month-old girl called Jessica McClure who fell into an abandoned well and spent 58 hours at the bottom before she was rescued?
Or the time when an aeroplane after taking off in New York hit a flock of Canadian geese damaging the plane and forcing the pilot to crash land into the Hudson River where the passengers were rescued?
How do you think the miners and their families, the little girl and her parents, the passengers and their relatives felt after they were rescued?
It may be hard for them to put it into words.
Now each of us who trust in Jesus have been rescued. We have been saved from sin and death and hell because Christ died for us. And it can be hard to put it to words how it feels that “The Son of God, loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20).
Which is why it is great that there are some hymns and songs they give us words we can use to express this, and our hymn of the month for this month is one that does this.
The hymn is And can it be? which was written by Charles Wesley most likely a couple of days after his conversion and expresses the amazement that he had been saved by Jesus.
Here’s how the hymn begins.
And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Saviour’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
When we sing these words, we are expressing how amazed we are that God would love us so much that His Son would die for us – because it our sin that caused Him to die.
The next verse describes how incredible what God has done is. How the One who is God’s Son, who is immortal, dies. There’s so much we can’t understand, but that doesn’t stop us from adoring God for His mercy.
’Tis mystery all! The Immortal dies!
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love Divine!
’Tis mercy all! let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.
In verse 3 we get an explanation of how God has rescued us. First, the Son of God left heaven, humbling Himself by taking on flesh, and becoming a man, so He could die for us, and God’s mercy could find us.
He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me.
Then in verse 4 we now get words to express what it feels like when God’s mercy finds us.
Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
We were dead in our transgressions and sins. We were slaves to sin and Satan. But God has made us alive, freeing us from Satan’s grip and sins power so we are able to believe in Jesus and follow Him.
We now no longer need to fear the future. One day we will be with God forever.
No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness Divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
So, And can it be? is our hymn of the month. Here are words we can use to express how it feels to be saved by God. Let’s do that now.
More talks from The Hymn of the Month series can be found HERE.
(Photo: Aaron Burden)