Across the Lands

2-26-19

-Drew Bundy


Introduction

“Across the Lands” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend is a modern hymn that recites the Gospel while emphasizing its invitation to all peoples. Verse one tells of Jesus with the Father before the world was made and reminds the singers of His power in creating and sustaining the universe. This is responded to with praise and rejoicing at the end of the stanza and into the chorus. Verse two tells of Christ’s humiliation to the cross to pay for our sins and also of his various works while he was on earth. The third verse wraps up the song by expounding on Christ’s resurrection and work on behalf of the church before God the Father.

The Gospel

This song is rich with the Gospel. I appreciate how it is laid out in a very linear way, starting with eternity past, working through Christ’s earthly ministry, and ultimately anticipating His eternal reign over all nations. This song particularly focuses on both the humbling of Christ and on His mediating work. In order to help the singers understand what it meant for Jesus to humble himself to this world and die on a cross, Getty and Townend take the first verse to focus on His glory in heaven. He is described as “the Word of God the Father from before the world began,” and we are reminded that “every star and every planet has been fashioned by” his “hand.” This makes the second verse much more impactful. “Yet You left the gaze of angels, came to seek and save the lost,/ And exchanged the joy of heaven for the anguish of a cross.” Wonderfully, the song does not stop short of the resurrection, reminding us that Jesus “wrested (pulled with force) victory from the grave!” The last verse also reminds us that Jesus is interceding before the Father for His own. The Gospel is woven all throughout this beautifully worded hymn.

Names of God

There are great descriptions of God here. We read “Word of God the Father,” “Author of creation,” “Lord of every man,” “and “Father.” Each of these names were carefully selected to emphasize who it is that has accomplished all of these wondrous things.

Heavenward Focus

This is a very heavenward song. Much of it describes and enjoys the glories of God the Father and the Son. We are reminded of the beauty of creation declaring the glory of God, and that God will be praised by every nation. This song certainly balances the benefits believers have from the Gospel with the glory God receives through the work of Jesus.

Theological vs. Doxological

The verses are mostly revelatory, but they do often offer moments of praise and wonder as well. They are followed well by the chorus, giving the church an opportunity to respond in praise and adoration of Jesus as Creator and Lord. This song is both theological and doxological.

Why did it get this score?

“Across the Lands” checks all of the boxes well from the “Is it Helpful? Chart.” It is Gospel centered, heavenward focused, is clear about who God is, and is accessible for many people to sing. All of these things have earned this song a 100%.

Utilizing it in a Service

This is a great song for opening a service. It gives a clear Gospel presentation to which the congregation can continue to respond to during the rest of the service. It has a beautiful and energizing melody which can help to begin a service in celebration of Jesus’ work.

Check out what Possible Blog has to say about this song.

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See how this song compares to others in our Reviewed Songs.

Drew Bundy