Facing a Task Unfinished

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I’m writing this mainly to pass along some info to my church, but this is a rich hymn text. Worth taking a look, even if you’re not participating in the global hymn sing!

This Sunday, February 21, 2016, our church (Colonial Baptist Church, Virginia Beach) will be joining churches around the world (nearly one million believers in 63 countries and in 10 languages, so far) in singing the hymn, “Facing a Task Unfinished.”

If you’re interested in registering your church to join in, click here.

Please take some time to give attention to this hymn and be prepared to really join in as we sing this together on Sunday. I’ve attached links to some resources that may be helpful to you as you prepare. Even if you can’t read music, you can meditate on the lyrics or listen to the audio. And below is an excerpt from the Getty Music press release with some background information to the hymn.

Half-page Hymn Insert (melody only) | 2-page Full Hymn | Official Lyric Video (YouTube)

“Facing a Task Unfinished” was originally written by China Inland Mission (CIM) worker Frank Houghton in the 1920s at a time when persecution and even martyrdom of Christians in China was extremely severe. In the midst of this darkness, the CIM issued a call for 200 new missionaries over two years, and Houghton’s hymn galvanized the challenge in song. By 1931 there were 203 new missionaries on the field, and the number of Christians now in China is estimated to be well in excess of the millions.

OMF International (Overseas Missionary Fellowship, formerly China Inland Mission) recently celebrated its 150th anniversary and invited Keith and Kristyn Getty to re-visit and re-write Houghton’s much-loved and still timely hymn. The Gettys have given the hymn a new chorus of response to help serve a new generation of congregational singing. Royalties earned by the song from all sources and uses will be donated to OMF International in support of their continued work.

“Songs have the ability to unite and move us…” says Keith Getty. “Frank Houghton understood this… ‘Facing a Task Unfinished’ provided inspiration to a generation of missionaries when it was first written, and it urges us on still, even as we also live amid persecution and martyrdom… Into these situations the call of Christ and His Kingdom is our only hope. His gospel is the window of light pouring into the darkened corners of this world. He is the good news we must sing and bring.”

 

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Wedding Stanza

It’s been a pretty busy wedding season this summer (which included the wedding of my older brother Rob). I thought I’d indulge in a bit of nostalgia and share this “wedding stanza” I wrote to The Power of the Cross by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, my wife’s favorite hymn. This stanza was sung as my beautiful bride Heather came down the aisle:

Oh, to see His face
Beaming on that day,
Splitting the sky with shouts of joy!
Oh, to see His bride
Fully sanctified,
Gleaming of clothes of white!
(invisible sentence I had to put in to format this!)

CHORUS:

This, the pow’r of the cross:
Christ, the Groom, slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forever at the cross.
(invisible sentence I had to put in to format this!)