Beliefnet
Mark D. Roberts

At a recent Laity Lodge retreat, our musician/worship leader was Sandra McCracken. Sandra, a popular singer/songwriter, has released several solo albums and participated in many others. Her lyrical depth and engaging voice have made her one of the most sought-after of contemporary Christian artists. (Photo: Laity Lodge)

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But Sandra is also part of a movement among Christians to rediscover and redeploy fine old hymns. Sometimes she sings them with familiar tunes. Sometimes she writes new music for the original lyrics, or uses tunes written by other contemporary musicians. Sandra contributes to Indelible Grace Music, an organization that is helping college students (and even those of us who have been out of college for decades) discover the riches of hymns.

Sandra introduced a hymn at Laity Lodge that I have not sung or heard before, at least not that I can remember. It’s called “Jesus, I Come.”  It was written by William T. Sleeper in 1887. You can see a group from Indelible Grace performing this song here. (Sandra is not in this performance.)

Here are the lyrics of this thoughtful hymn:

Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of my sickness, into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the joy and light of Thy throne,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

What a stirring hymn, celebrating God’s grace and healing. Thanks, Sandra, for introducing me to this gem.

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