A Gift to the Church from Keith and Kristyn Getty| Posted October 30, 2016
~~This is the first album of mostly new material from the pre-eminent modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty since 2012’s Hymns for the Christian Life (though they have released a Christmas album, live album, an EP and a live Christmas album since that time). The studio album, recorded in Nashville's historic Ocean Way Recording studio, champions mission and congregational singing, features the Getty’s excellent band, live congregational singing and a few special guest appearances (Chris Tomlin, Fernando Ortega, John Patitucci and Ladysmith Black Mambazo). The album is produced by Nathan Nockels.
The Deluxe digital edition features 17 songs. Here are a few brief comments about each of these wonderful songs, a true gift to the church:
Facing a Task Unfinished – This hymn was originally written in 1931 by China Inland Mission (now OMF International) worker Frank Houghton with music by Samuel Wesley. The Getty’s were asked by OMF to add a new chorus to the hymn, and they were joined by Ed Cash, and Fionan de Barra. An estimated one million believers in more than 5,000 churches in 100 countries joined together to sing this new hymn on February 21. The added the below chorus, and the recording features some excellent congregational singing:
We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord
May the Peoples Praise You – This is an upbeat hymn that features the Getty’s “green grass” band feel. Inspired by Psalm 67, this hymn is a call to worship and mission.
May the peoples praise You
Let the nations be glad
All Your blessing comes
That we may praise
May praise the Name of Jesus
Living Waters – The mid-tempo song was released as a single a few weeks before the album release. Christ is calling to those who are thirsty, empty, tired and broken, to come to Him, our living waters. This song is an invitation to come and be filled and healed, and to walk in life and freedom.
O Children Come – featuring the vocals of Lady Blacksmith Black Mambazo. A live version was included on their 2015 album Joy - An Irish Christmas LIVE. Originally written as a Christmas carol, this invitation song challenges us both to follow Christ and to go with the good news of Christ in words and in deeds of mercy to a needy world. The songs features an infectious beat and also the children of some of the band members singing along.
My Worth Is Not in What I Own – This is a wonderful hymn that we often sing in our church that was first included on their 2014 EP The Greengrass Session. It features one of my favorite artists Fernando Ortega. Our worth is not in what we own, the strength of flesh and bone, skill or name, in win or lose, in pride or shame but in Christ and what He did for us on the cross.
For the Cause – This hymn was written with Stuart Townend on the call to missions and the cause of the Kingdom around the world. It is dedicated to Danny Akin and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The song showcases the excellent band and their greengrass sound, featuring some good percussion work.
For the cause of Christ we go
With joy to reap, with faith to sow
As many see
And many put their trust in the Son
Lift High the Name of Jesus – This is the third version of this wonderful upbeat hymn that has been released. It was first included on the album recorded live at the Gospel Coalition Conference and later on the The Greengrass Session EP. The band gets to show off on this version leading to the celebratory chorus:
Oh sing my soul,
And tell all He’s done,
Till the earth and heavens are filled with His glory!
The Lord Is My Salvation – This is a song of testimony, inspired in part by Psalm 27. Piano. Slowly builds.
Who is like the Lord our God?
Strong to save, faithful in love
My debt is paid and the vict’ry won
The Lord is my salvation
We Believe (Apostle’s Creed) – This song features an old melody of Keith’s that has been refreshed with a song based on the Apostle’s Creed. They collaborated on this song with their friend, John Patitucci, in a fusion of music influenced both by Jazz and the folk music of Scandinavia and Ireland. The band really shines on this song.
He Will Hold Me Fast – This song is written by Matt Merker, adapting some original lyrics by Ada Habershon. The Gettys felt it would be a comfort and encouragement to God’s people as we live out our faith in these difficult times, whether in suffering, persecution or death. The music is beautiful, with piano, strings supplemented by with some effective congregational singing.
Psalm 24 (The King of Glory) – With this song, written with Chris Tomlin and Ed Cash, the Getty’s tried to capture a sense of Christ’s victorious rule of all the earth and the joy this brings to His people, as told in Psalm 24. The song has a bit of a different sound, with some with some Eastern musical influences.
He reigns, He reigns
Jesus the Lord
He reigns, He reigns
O Church Arise (Arise Shine) – This song was originally included on their 2007 album In Christ Alone, and also included in their live Gospel Coalition album, features Chris Tomlin on backing vocals.
Beyond These Shores – This is an instrumental track featuring John Patitucci.
Consider the Stars – This is a beautiful piano-based lullaby that John Patitucci wrote for the Getty’s three daughters to help them go to sleep at night.
Jesus Tender Shepherd Hear Me – The words of this hymn were written by Mary Duncan in 1839. It was a hymn that she composed for her children. Kristyn sings accompanied by only an acoustic guitar. Some new lyrics have been added to Duncan’s original hymn.
Let the Earth Resound – This is a 2004 song written by Keith and Stuart Townend, recorded for the first time by the Getty’s. It features some good congregational singing.
King immortal, Faithful God
Crowned with splendour, rich in love.
Let the heavens and the earth resound
With songs of praise to You.
Those who Wast Rich Beyond All Spendor – This 1934 hymn, is another one written by Frank Houghton. It begins with beautiful strings, and only a piano is added as we focus on the lyrics sung by Kristyn.