This is the power

This mosaic is one of many in the Resurrection Chapel at Washington National Cathedral. Photographed April 2005

This mosaic is one of many in the Resurrection Chapel at Washington National Cathedral.
Photographed April 2005

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.  — Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

Yesterday I wrote of singing to give myself courage and stamina as I drove alone to the hospital late on the night Jeff was first diagnosed and went into emergency surgery.  I sang two songs that night on the relatively short drive that I feared would seem endless when I started out.  Yesterday’s blog talked about the first song.  This song is the second.

Though it’s a fairly recent composition, many beautiful versions have already been recorded.  Here’s one that’s quite unique; I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  If you want to hear only the triumphant final verse quoted above, you can jump to 2:45 into the song.

When I first learned this song several years ago, I thought of Matt whenever we sang that verse.  The words “from life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny” brought to mind my memories of the tiny infant struggling to breathe in the neonatal intensive care unit, who went on to survive more than most of us can imagine.  As he undergoes his fifth and riskiest open heart surgery this week, I expect that I will be silently singing this song to myself more than once through the long hours of waiting.

Since September, when we sing this verse at church now I think also of that dark drive to the hospital, and of Jeff and what he has been through the past 20 months.  Though he and Matt express it differently, both of them continue to live as they always have, in quiet faith that nothing can separate us from God’s love.

For most Christians, Easter reminds us of what we believe every day: that the most important victory of all time has already been won.  Many of us will be singing about that today, finding in God’s promises the “peace that passes understanding.”  I honestly believe the peace on earth we all crave must first begin inside each one of us, not as a passive acquiescence, but as a rock-solid assurance that replaces fear with faith and love.  I wish that peace for everyone who reads these words.  “Hallelujah is our song.”

For a special Easter greeting, click here

Last year on Easter:

Our song

This post was first published on Easter Sunday seven years ago. Less than three years after it first appeared, the beautiful verse quoted above appeared on the Order of Service for Jeff’s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.

The post that was published on April 4, 2014, will appear on April 20. The dates were adjusted to allow the Easter weekend posts of 2014 to appear on Easter weekend of 2021. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.

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