Jesus, My Great High Priest

This hymn is written by Isaac Watts in 1709, who no doubt draws inspiration from Hebrews, where Jesus is clearly and profoundly portrayed as our great high priest. Christ not only intercedes to God on our behalf as the high priests of Israel did, but by offering his blood as the sacrifice for our sins, guarantees us full peace, pardon and forgiveness. This version by Kirk Ward also has an added refrain; enjoy!

Jesus, my great High Priest,
Offered his blood and died;
My guilty conscience seeks
No sacrifice beside.
His pow’rful blood did once atone,
And now it pleads before the Throne.

To this dear Surety’s hand
Will I commit my cause;
He answers and fulfills
His Father’s broken laws.
Behold my soul at freedom set;
My Surety paid the dreadful debt.

Now I approach the throne
And I have confidence;
Jesus, my great High Priest,
Offered his blood and died.
Now I approach the throne,
And I have confidence;
Jesus, my great High Priest
offered his blood and died,
For me.

My Advocate appears
For my defense on high;
The Father bows his ears
And lays his thunder by.
Not all that hell or sin can say
Shall turn his heart, his love, away.


Should all the hosts of death
And pow’rs of hell unknown
Put their most dreadful forms
Of rage and mischief on,
I shall be safe, for Christ displays
His conqu’ring pow’r and guardian grace.


Be Thou My Vision

According to mythology, when St. Patrick was a missionary in Ireland in the 5th century, King Logaire of Tara decreed that no one was allowed to light any fires until a pagan festival was begun by the lighting of a fire on Slane Hill. In a move of defiance against this pagan ritual, St. Patrick did light a fire, and, rather than execute him, the king was so impressed by his devotion that he let Patrick continue his missionary work. Three centuries later, a monk named Dallan Forgaill wrote the Irish poem, “Rop tú mo Baile” (“Be Thou my Vision), to remember and honor the faith of St. Patrick. Forgaill was martyred by pirates, but his poetry lived on as a part of the Irish monastic tradition for centuries until, in the early 20th century, Mary Elizabeth Byrne translated the poem into English, and in 1912, Eleanor Hull versified the text into what is now a well-loved hymn and prayer that at every moment of our lives, God would be our vision above all else1. There are lots of versions of this song it’s hard to pick one!

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word;
I ever with thee, and thou with me, Lord.
Born of thy love, thy child may I be,
thou in me dwelling and I one with thee.

Be thou my buckler, my sword for the fight.
Be thou my dignity, thou my delight,
thou my soul’s shelter, thou my high tow’r.
Raise thou me heav’nward, O Pow’r of my pow’r.

Riches I heed not, nor vain empty praise;
thou mine inheritance, now and always.
Thou and thou only, first in my heart,
Ruler of heaven, my treasure thou art.

“*True Light of heaven, when vict’ry is won
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

*Alternate phrase: “High King”

Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

This choice was a Latin hymn written sometime in the late 6th or 7th Century under the title Urbs beata Jerusalem. The original hymn was sung as an unaccompanied plainsong melody. In 1851, John Mason Neale translated the hymn from Latin into English.  Many modern versions of the texts vary greatly from his original translations. The hymn has been performed at the marriage ceremonies of the British Royals Princess Margaret in 1960 and Prince Charles and Diana Spencer in 1981. It was also the opening hymn for the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee service in June 2022 (video below!) and performed a few months later at her funeral in September 20221.

Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ, our head and cornerstone,
chosen of the Lord and precious,
binding all the Church in one;
holy Zion’s help forever
and our confidence alone.

To this temple, where we call you,
come, O Lord of hosts, and stay;
come with all your lovingkindness,
hear your people as they pray;
and your fullest benediction
speak within these walls today.

Grant, we pray, to all your faithful
all the gifts they ask to gain;
what they gain from you forever
with the blessed to retain;
And hereafter in your glory
evermore with you to reign.

Praise and honor to the Father,
praise and honor to the Son,
praise and honor to the Spirit,
ever three and ever one:
one in might and one in glory
while unending ages run!

Jesus I Am Resting, Resting

Thomas Piggott was a missionary to China.  His sister, Jean Piggott, wrote the song, Jesus, I am Resting, Resting. She was born in County Kildare, Ireland on September 8, 1845 and almost two years later on August 5, 1847, her brother Thomas Wellesley Piggot was born. Thomas, arrived in China in 1879 as a missionary.  In a letter written in May 1896, he says in part “Now there are many hundreds of converts, many of them earnest, faithful men, and a large number of stations where thousands are brought under Christian influence. How shall we look on the investment of our lives and labour here, even from the near standpoint of one hundred years hence? I am, I can truly say, more grateful every day for the opportunity of serving Christ, and I believe this to be the only true and sober view of life s realities. The work pressed home now, will make all the difference a few years hence.” On July 9, 1901 he was executed at the age of fifty-three, along with seventy-six other Christian missionaries, in the Boxer Rebellion at the Sheo Yang Mission uprising. J. Hudson Taylor, a great missionary to China for 51 years, was terribly saddened to hear of the loss of his friends and fellow missionaries following the slayings. Jesus, I am Resting, Resting became a great comfort to him during this time1.

Jesus, I am resting, resting
in the joy of what thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
of thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon thee,
as thy beauty fills my soul,
for by thy transforming power,
thou hast made me whole.

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
in the joy of what thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
of thy loving heart.

O how great thy lovingkindness,
vaster, broader than the sea!
O how marvelous thy goodness
lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in thee, Beloved,
know what wealth of grace is thine,
know thy certainty of promise
and have made it mine.


Simply trusting thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold thee as thou art,
and thy love, so pure, so changeless,
satisfies my heart;
satisfies its deepest longings,
meets, supplies its ev’ry need,
compasseth me round with blessings:
thine is love indeed.


Ever lift thy face upon me
as I work and wait for thee;
resting ‘neath thy smile, Lord Jesus,
earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory,
sunshine of my Father’s face,
keep me ever trusting, resting,
fill me with thy grace.


This Life I Live

This hymn is a simple confession of the true believer’s desire and aim in life: to live for God, rely on his grace, and look forward to meeting him again. Enjoy!

This life I live is not my own,
For my redeemer paid the price;
He took it to be his alone,
To be his treasure and his prize.
The things of earth I leave behind,
To live in worship of my King;
His is the right to rule my life,
Mine is the joy to live for him.

I died to sin upon the cross,
I’m bound to Jesus in his death;
The old is gone, and now I must,
Rely on him for every breath.
With every footstep that I tread,
What mysteries he has in store;
I cannot know what lies ahead,
But know that he has gone before.

There is a voice that pierced the grave,
A power that rolled the stone away;
A sound of life, I know I’m saved,
The voice of God has called my name.
So I will rise, and in the air,
Behold the glory of the King;
I will not fear to meet him there,
I know my life is hid with him.

It Was Finished Upon That Cross

“Boldly I approach my Father, clothed in Jesus’ righteousness; there is no more guilt to carry, it was finished upon that cross.” This is one of my favourite stanzas in CityAlight’s song from their newest album. It tells us of the benefits we have because of what Jesus has done on the cross for us. The upbeat melody is also a great accompaniment to fill your heart with joy for all our Saviour Jesus Christ has done; enjoy!

How I love the voice of Jesus,
On the cross of Calvary;
He declares His work is finished,
He has spoken this hope to me.

Though the sun had ceased its shining,
Though the war appeared as lost;
Christ had triumphed over evil;
It was finished upon that cross.

Now the curse it has been broken,
Jesus paid the price for me;
Full, the pardon He has offered;
Great, the welcome that I receive.

Boldly I approach my Father,
Clothed in Jesus’ righteousness;
There is no more guilt to carry,
It was finished upon that cross.

Death was once my great opponent,
Fear once had a hold on me;
But the Son who died to save us,
Rose that we would be free indeed!

Free from every plan of darkness,
Free to live and free to love;
Death is dead and Christ is risen!
It was finished upon that cross.

Onward to eternal glory,
To my Saviour and my God;
I rejoice in Jesus’ victory,
It was finished upon that cross.

Just As I Am

The spiritual seed behind this hymn by Charlotte Elliott (1789–1871) is sometimes regarded to be her conversion experience1. Charlotte had become an invalid in 1821, which brought her great mental distress. Her lifelong spiritual mentor César Malan, a Swiss minister and hymnologist, counselled her to replace her rage and inner conflict with peace, and simple faith in God; from that day on, she turned her literary talents to writing hymns. Although sometimes depressed by her condition, she always felt renewed by the assurance of salvation, and she responded to her Saviour in hymns with her “strong imagination and a well cultured and intellectual mind” (John D. Julian, A Dictionary of Hymnology, 1892). She wrote about 150 hymns. Her most famous, “Just as I Am,” is widely used in English and North American hymnals today2.

Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bidd’st me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
to rid my soul of one dark blot,
to thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
with many a conflict, many a doubt,
fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, thou wilt receive,
wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.


In The Cross of Christ I Glory

Sir John Bowring (1792-1872) was a distinguished scholar, ranked by some as one of the great minds of his day in the English-speaking world. Among his gifts was his ability as a linguist, publishing translations of poetry from such varied languages as Russian, Batavian, Spanish, Polish, Serbian, Bohemian, Magyar, Czech and Hungarian. Bowring also was twice a member of Parliament, a consul at Canton (in charge of trade in China) and a governor of Hong Kong. Despite a demanding political and diplomatic career, Bowring maintained an active avocation as a translator of poetry, composer of original poems and writer of essays on political and religious themes. “In the cross of Christ I glory” (1825) was composed while the author was in his early thirties. Appearing in Hymns by John Bowring (1825), the theme and language suggests a much more mature poet. Late 19th-century hymnologist John Julian suggests that Galatians 6:14 provides the basis for this hymn: “Far be it for me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (KJV).

In the cross of Christ I glory,
towering o’er the wrecks of time;
all the light of sacred story
gathers round its head sublime.

When the woes of life o’ertake me,
hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
never shall the cross forsake me.
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.

When the sun of bliss is beaming
light and love upon my way,
from the cross the radiance streaming
adds more luster to the day.

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
by the cross are sanctified;
peace is there that knows no measure,
joys that through all time abide.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
towering o’er the wrecks of time;
all the light of sacred story
gathers round its head sublime.

Not In Me

This song written by Eric Schumacher & David L. Ward is a model song for confession and repentance. It’s a song that proclaims that before God, we cannot boast of any good work. The only hope we have is the righteousness that is declared to us by Christ’s death and resurrection. We often sing this hymn on the days we celebrate the Lord’s Table at our church as it’s very fitting to mediate on the goodness, mercy and hope of Christ. Enjoy!

No list of sins I have not done,
No list of virtues I pursue –
No list of those I am not like.
Can earn myself a place with You.
O God, be merciful to me,
I am a sinner through and through;
My only hope of righteousness,
Is not in me, but only You.

No humble dress, no fervent prayer,
No lifted hands, no tearful song.
No recitation of the truth,
Can justify a single wrong.
My righteousness is Jesus’ life;
My debt was paid by Jesus’ death.
My weary load was borne by Him,
And He alone can give me rest.

No separation from the world.
No work I do, no gift I give.
Can cleanse my conscience, cleanse my hands,
I cannot cause my soul to live.
But Jesus died and rose again,
The power of death is overthrown.
My God is merciful to me,
And merciful in Christ alone.

My righteousness is Jesus’ life,
My debt was paid by Jesus’ death.
My weary load was borne by Him,
And He alone can give me rest,
Yes, He alone can give me rest

And Can It Be

According to the editor of The Oxford Edition of the Works of John Wesley (Oxford: Clarendon, 1975-1983, vol. 7), “And Can It Be” was written immediately after Charles Wesley’s conversion (May 21, 1738). Wesley knew his Bible well prior to this time, but had not yet experienced assurance of new birth or the fulness of grace in his life. The editor also that it was probably this hymn, or “Where Should My Wond’ring Soul Begin?” that was sung late on the evening of his brother John’s Aldersgate Street conversion just three days later on May 241.

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, should die for me?

Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!

‘Tis mystery all! Th’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.


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.


Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.


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 th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.