Reflections on “I Sing the Mighty Power of God”

Last summer, Justin and I had the pleasure to visit the beautiful region of Banff, Alberta, for a wedding.  I remember I was blown away with the breath-taking landscape and lakes that glistened in magnificent hues of blue and green — it was a feast for the eyes!  And of course, I could scarce forget the incredible mountainous views.  You can catch a glimpse of this in the background of the YouTube video for “Higher Ground.”  For me, this scenery comes to mind when I reflect through the opening lines of the hymn, “I Sing the Mighty Power of God,” which we sang last Sunday:

I sing the mighty power of God that made the mountains rise,
that spread the flowing seas abroad and built the lofty skies…

Through the beautiful poetic diction of the hymn, I found myself in awe again of His grace and majesty.  This was not the first time we’d sung this hymn in Sunday service.  I recall we did it sometime last year soon after completing the arrangement for the album.  In Sunday service, we started the song with Justin teaching the original chorus.  These lyrics were inspired by Mark 12:30, which reads, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”  The chorus that we wrote together goes like this:

O God, You are the Lord of all
And all to You, I sing
My heart, my soul, my mind and strength
For you, O mighty King!

How mighty and awesome is our God, the Creator of the earth, the sky, the seas, the mountains, the trees, the fields and flowers—in more rural parts of the world like Banff, these natural landscapes are an incredible sight to behold! In response to His creation, I find the words of hymnist Isaac Watts very fitting:

I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day
the moon shines full at His command, and all the stars obey.

Amidst a busy world of much noise and many distractions, our prayer is that we never forget the beauty of His creation and to be in awe of His great majesty.

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Hymns for All Ages

A good hymn is different from a good piece of devotional verse—it gains its effect from being sung rather than from being read.

-Ian Bradley from “The Book of Hymns” (1989)

Many churches have a repertoire of songs that are familiar to the congregation—songs that have been taught and sung again and again until almost everyone can sing along.  But it wasn’t always that way.  Once upon a time, church music was sung entirely in Latin, and only the educated elite were able to participate.  It wasn’t until Martin Luther composed hymns in German that church music became much more accessible to the masses.  The rest, as we know, is history.

Hymns were meant to teach and inspire passion toward His kingdom.  Some, like “The Love of God,” express deep admiration of God’s love, mercy, grace, and glory:

The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star and reaches to the lowest hell

Others such as “Yesterday, Today, Forever” proclaim foundational Christian truth:

Yesterday, today, forever: Jesus is the same
All may change, but Jesus never—glory to His name!

Unfortunately, many young people today lack a connection to hymnody and consider it the music of their parents’ and grandparents’ generation.  After the undertaking of our first album, we realized how few hymns we really knew, despite some of us having grown up in church.  It was a transformational experience that we are compelled to share with the larger church community.

Join us on Friday, May 3rd at Mississauga Chinese Baptist Church as we journey through the songs on the album.  It will be an informal night of hymn singing and sharing for all ages!

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‘Tis The Reason

'Tis the ReasonLast night when I was worshipping with the College/University fellowship at SCommAC, this image came up on the lyrics powerpoint. It immediately struck me because the juxtaposition of wreath and thorny crown reminded me of a similar dichotomy I’ve been feeling since the release of our debut album. For ten months, the Hymn Remix Project had been my life: whether it was songwriting, planning, practicing, recording, or rehearsing, I was doing what I’d been called to do. Then suddenly it was over, and I found myself face-to-face with a crush of pre-holiday to-do’s that felt meaningless by comparison. Don’t get me wrong – I love the family gatherings and tremendous fellowship dinners, and I’m glad to bless people with thoughtful (or at least practical) gifts. But with all the shopping and festivities, it’s easy to forget just how profound an occasion Christmas truly is.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  – Philippians 2:5-7

Christ wasn’t merely ‘born’. In coming to earth, he left his rightful place in heaven; in becoming human, he became subservient to God the Father and made himself nothing. So when we celebrate Christmas, we aren’t just celebrating Jesus’ birthday – we’re celebrating the ultimate act of humility in the entire history of mankind.

Kinda puts the holidays in a whole new light, doesn’t it?

Anyway, since this is probably our last update until 2013, we want to close off the year by officially thanking everyone for the incredible amount of support and positive feedback we’ve received. We are grateful and humbled each time someone comes up to tell us that a particular track is their favourite, that they really like a certain chorus, or simply because they want to buy a CD. We also have one more video – a documentary short about the Hymn Remix Project: the vision behind it, how the music came together, and testimony of how God can use ordinary people in extraordinary ways.

Thank you from all of us, and have a blessed Christmas holiday :)

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