Are we entering a great new era of hymnody? There are signs of hope, and we can see the emergence of new hymn writers and composers who combine the best of old and new, recovering the ancient form in a new age. Best of all, these hymns are rich in biblical truth and Gospel content.

One of my favorites is “Oh, to See the Dawn,” by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. This new hymn is also known as “The Power of the Cross.”

Consider these words:

OH, TO SEE THE DAWN, Of the darkest day:  Christ on the road to Calvary.  Tried by sinful men, Torn and beaten, then, Nailed to a cross of wood.

Oh, to see the pain, Written on Your face, Bearing the awesome weight of sin.  Every bitter thought, Every evil deed, Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

This, the power of the cross: Christ became sin for us.  Took the blame, bore the wrath -We stand forgiven at the cross.

Now the daylight flees, Now the ground beneath, Quakes as its Maker bows His head.  Curtain torn in two, Dead are raised to life; ‘Finished!’ the victory cry.

Oh, to see my name, Written in the wounds, For through Your suffering I am free.  Death is crushed to death, Life is mine to live, Won through Your selfless loveThis, the power of the cross:  Son of God – slain for us.  What a love! What a cost! We stand forgiven at the cross.

Keith Getty & Stuart Townend Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music

Townend and Getty also wrote “In Christ Alone,” which has become a new evangelical standard. I was introduced to “Oh, to See the Dawn” in a Southern Seminary chapel service when Keith and Kristyn Getty led the congregation in singing. Kristyn sings the ballad on their new album, “Hymns for the Life of the Church,” [New Irish Hymns 4, Kingsway Music], released in October. [Go to the Getty Direct Web site and hear a selection from the recording.]