Monday, July 16, 2007

The First Place

In a recent discussion with someone regarding church music, hymns, etc., I was reflecting on some of the good old hymns that we have been singing for quite some time now.

I find that there are some camps that are wanting to "throw away" the hymns and go with all new music and on the other hand there are those that absolutely refuse to recognize anything beyond the Baptist Hymnal or for some of the older folks out there, the Broadman hymnal. Even among these camps, I still find that there are those that will only recognize the 1956 version of the Baptist Hymnal, some the 1975, and then now...the 1995 update...etc.

There are many songs in all of these hymnals that need to be thrown out the window and we should repent that we would ever associate with such nonsense in the words. However, let me say...from someone who is still considered "younger" by most of my contemporaries...I will never forget or "throw away" some of the great hymns of old. (I'll explain more later.) On the other side, I joyfully embrace some of the new music that is being written today. Many of these new hymns and songs are written with greater doctrinal accuracy than hymns out of the hymn book.

Why will I not forget or "throw away" some of the hymns of old? When I reflect upon things that are lovely, right, and just, I think about some of the memories that are associated with some of these songs. For instance, I remember singing some of these songs at the testimony of conversion in people's lives. I remember singing some of these songs at a celebration service reflecting on the life of a recently past saint, etc. Not to mention that I will not throw away those songs which are sound theologically and make much of our Lord. (I could go on and on with this).

All of that said, I would like to introduce to you a is a few years old, but I recently sang it at a Pastor's conference. I love this song because it goes right along with the title of the blog, but...more importantly because it focuses on the Preeminence of Christ above all things. I pray that you all might be blessed by reading the lyrics of this song.

The First Place

Jesus, the perfect picture of the unseen God
Maker of things we cannot comprehend.
Wisdom, the earth displays Your strength and beauty.
Sovereign, yes, every throne knows You are God.

Every inch of this universe belongs to You, O Christ.
For through You and for You it was made.
Your creation endures by the order of Your hand.
So You must have in all things the first place.

Victor, over sin and death You triumphed.
Firstborn, You've shown us life beyond the grave.
Bridegroom, we long for You in expectation.
Jesus, Your church rejoices to proclaim.
© 1999 Matthew Westerholm

In all things...Christ Preeminent!


Matthew Westerholm said...

I am so glad the song has blessed you. You can find the whole story of the song (with sheet music) here.


Aaron said...


Thank you for your comment. This song continues to be a blessing to many in our congregation. I will point people to your blog so that they might enjoy more of your music! Thank you for your dedication to Lord and leading us to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!

Yours in Christ,


Kipp and Katie said...

We really enjoy singing this song in our church. We are actually singing it tomorrow, Feb. 1st, 2009.

Anonymous said...

This song has been a tremendous blessing to me as well.