“In Christ Alone” – it’s one of our favorite hymns at Church of the Apostles. We sang it joyfully on Easter, with a great celebration breaking out on the lines: Then bursting forth in glorious day/Up from the grave He rose again!
I’ve loved this hymn by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend since the first time I sang it, in 2003 at New Wineskins for Global Missions, a conference which many members of Church of the Apostles have attended over the years. The conference worship band, from England, taught “In Christ Alone” to us. Most of us had never heard it, since in those days, before the prevalence of Facebook, YouTube, and iTunes, all the great praise songs from the U.K. seemed to take a couple of years to migrate West.
At the missions conference it was deeply moving to sing: No guilt in life, no fear in death, This is the pow'r of Christ in me in the company of Christians from Nigeria, Sudan, Egypt, Pakistan, India, and elsewhere, where to say “no fear in death” reflects a reality with which we are unfamiliar.
It was humbling to sing no power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand, standing alongside brothers in Christ with bodies scarred from torture, victorious over the most hellish “schemes of man.”
“In Christ Alone” is also Church of the Apostles’ testimony. Through our seasons of drought and storm, we have found our hope in Christ alone -- knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior -- and we have stood firm and stood faithful.
The hymn continues: From life's first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. Isn’t it amazing to think that from Church of the Apostles’ “first cry” back in 1968 up till now, Jesus has been in command of our destiny? As we embrace the vision that God has given to Church of the Apostles, and work to fulfill it, we can trust that Jesus is in command, as we are “Destined for Joy” – living the joy that will overflow into our community and overflow into the world.
Faith J. H. McDonnell
Media/Information Team Leader
("In Christ Alone
Words and Music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music)