Today here at Wednesday Is for Worship, I want to point you to THE song that began to change my worship song taste buds. The Lord saved me when I was 17yo, and I soon headed off to Hanover College in Indiana. I got into worship leadership there on the campus and at Camp Loucon, which was the Christian summer camp in Kentucky that I worked at during college. In those years, I cut my teeth on contemporary worship songs with their typical verse/chorus/bridge construction. I knew almost no songs written in hymn style. I loved to worship the Lord but almost never did so with hymns.
When I graduated from college in 2002 at the age of 22yo, I began vocational ministry at Smiths Grove Baptist Church in Kentucky as the Associate Pastor, Minister of Youth and Music. I have to say that the transition from leading college and camp worship to leading a traditional Southern Baptist worship was a challenge for me. That’s when I really began to learn to worship with hymns, and to be truthful, I wasn’t really crazy about them. But, that all began to change for me when my then pastor Brandon Porter introduced me to today’s song, “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.”
Written in 1995 by British worship leader Stuart Townend and published through Thankyou Music, the song was given new life in the early 2000s when Townend teamed up with Keith Getty to write the now becoming classic hymns “In Christ Alone” and “The Power of the Cross.” As these songs rolled out, “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” began to be noticed and was introduced to a much greater audience in 2002 through a New Song Café DVD. I still remember the feeling of being gripped when Pastor Brandon played that DVD for me. The words, the melody were just enthralling, soul-gladdening, and faith-building.
This contemporary hymn opened up the door for me to the historic hymns of our faith, which I with great joy now worship the Lord with. May it have the impact on you that it’s had on me as you contemplate today the great lengths to which your heavenly Father went to redeem you!
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom