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When choosing the songs for last Sunday’s service, I was caused to research the background story of the old hymn ‘How great Thou art’, and discovered that the original version was penned by Swedish pastor Carl Boberg. Apparently, he witnessed a tremendous thunder storm, which passed quickly to leave a clear sky and birds singing sweetly in the trees, and was moved to ponder the greatness of God in His sovereignty over these things of awesome power and exquisite beauty.
But then after extolling the creation of the rolling thunder in the first verse, and the sweet singing birds in the second, he immediately moved on to extol the wonders of Calvary. “And when I think of God, His Son not sparing, sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in! That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died, to take away my sin.”
Isn’t that funny. The man beholds a thunderstorm, and soon his mind is at Calvary. The man hears birds chirping in the trees, and soon his mind is on the great fact of the atonement. It’s actually the Christian way. One’s thoughts are always turning in that holy direction, as if captured by some centripetal force pulling the powers of admiration to the great Centre. For there, amidst the grand works of creation and providence, lies that work of greater grandeur: Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
DM 8th June 2021