Music for Lent: Wonderful Merciful Savior

The March 5th Lent entry from the Biola University Lent Project online devotional site included the excellent modern hymn Wonderful Merciful Savior:

Wonderful, Merciful Savior lyrics

Wonderful, merciful Savior,
Precious Redeemer and Friend,
Who would have thought that a Lamb
Could rescue the souls of men.
Oh you rescue the souls of men.

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper,
Spirit we long to embrace—
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way.
Oh, we’ve hopelessly lost the way.

You are the One that we praise.
You are the One we adore.
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for.
Oh, our hearts always hunger for.

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own,
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne.
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne.

The “about” section of the Biola devotional includes some interesting history of the song:

The tune Wonderful, Merciful Savior was penned in 1989 by Dawn Rodgers, and the lyrics were completed by Rodgers and Eric Wyse while leading worship at Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN. The song is still sung regularly at Christ Community Church, and has been recorded by a number of artists, including Selah, who brought it to #1 on the Christian Inspirational Music Chart in 2001.
http://www.wonderfulmercifulsavior.com/

The Biola Lent devotional includes Selah’s version of this song.  While it is Selah’s version which has perhaps received the most acclaim, I first heard this song as recorded by Steve Camp on his 1994 album Mercy in the Wilderness, and this remains my favorite version. (Unfortunately it’s not available for online purchase.) 1994 was a challenging period for me personally and spiritually, and when I first heard this song, it helped me throw myself on Christ and trust in His mercy in a way I’ve never forgotten.

You can listen to Steve Camp’s version of Wonderful Merciful Savior (with a prelude of “There is No Other Name”) here:

 

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