- I am not a musical expert. The opinions I give are just my thoughts as a listener.
- The passages and theological observations made are what run through my mind when I listen. I have not spoken to the author regarding his or her theological convictions.
Introduction: I was introduced to this song through a fellow church member a few months ago. I tucked it away in a bookmark somewhere and recently rediscovered it in the past few weeks. In all honesty, I do not know much about City Alight, but I know that I like this song!
Theological Comment(s): I think this song is a wonderful song for Christians in a season of spiritual trial and growth. Theologically, the theme revolves around progressive sanctification. It speaks to the difficulty of living the Christian life in a fallen world. The song emphasizes the mystery behind sanctification. Theologically, it runs along the same lines of songs like, “Jesus I My Cross Have Taken” and “I Asked the Lord that I Might Grow.”
One theologically critique I have for this song is that it assumes salvation. It speaks of the difficulty of Christian living, but does not talk about how one enters the Christian life. Granted, the first verse speaks of “hope in my Redeemer” I would appreciate a clearer statement on justification by faith and substitutionary atonement. Perhaps that’s nitpicking, but I would hate for someone to listen to this song and not understand the difficulty of Christian living without understanding what makes a person a true Christian.
Theologically, the song also emphasizes the believer’s union with Christ (of course, since the concept is in the title itself!). Some have stated this to be a forgotten doctrine of our day, and rightfully so! Still, it has been one of the most comforting and applicable doctrines in the history of Christianity. It may sound arrogant to say that Christ is ours, but for those who have placed their faith in Him, He is our greatest treasure. Union with Christ changes the way we think and act; it is the foundation for our present hope and future hope.
Musical Comment(s): Musically, it is very soothing (almost lullaby’ish). I appreciate the simplicity of it. The simple guitar or piano version makes it a very personal and reflective song. Melodically, it is easy to sing along with and easy to learn. This is why I think it would make a great song for congregational worship. Honestly, the bridge feels a bit too repetitive for me, and I could do without it. Regardless, I don’t think it takes much away from how great the song is overall. The bridge seems a bit out of place, but I don’t think I have major problems with it. The piano riff (or guitar riff, depending on which version you’re listening to) is simple and pleasant, it keeps with the overall tone of the song.
Recommendations: The simplicity of musicianship and the easy melody make it a song fit for congregational worship. The fact that it basically has a hymn-like structure makes it great for congregational singing. The recorded versions of this song are great for study and “end of the day” type music. It isn’t something to put on your workout playlist. It’s definitely a song to listen to during times of trial, difficulty, and deep personal reflection. All Christians should familiarize themselves with this song because of its devotional tone. Even though it has a solemn tone behind it does not take away from the encouragement it can bring by reminding Christians that Christ is everything.