Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A song from the funeral

There were some beautiful old gospel songs sung at Rich's funeral. One of them has been in my head constantly. I keep singing the chorus over and over again. It's simple, but so incredibly true and so beautiful. Here it is. I think the Gaithers' sang it (wrote the lyrics?) and Wanda Jackson wrote it (the music?).

Because He Lives

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

And then one day, I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict'ry,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

2 comments:

Darla said...

Story Behind the Song
Bill & Gloria Gaither's "Because He Lives"
By Lindsay Terry


Gaither Music Company
Bill & Gloria Gaither's "Because He Lives"
LYRICS

Today, millions of Americans and people around the world are coming to love southern gospel music, and a big reason is the popularity of the Bill and Gloria Gaither Homecoming concerts and videos. For more than 40 years, the Gaithers have been writing and performing Christian songs. "He Touched Me," "There's Something About That Name," and some 600 others are featured in many church hymnals. But "Because He Lives" is perhaps the best known.

In the late 1960s, while expecting their third child, the Gaithers were going through a traumatic time. Their firstborn, Suzanne, was 4, and her sister Amy was three months old. The timing for another baby wasn't ideal. On top of that, Bill was recovering from a bout with mononucleosis.

The breakup of the marriage of Bill's sister, Mary Ann, had left his family devastated. What's more, a close friend's accusation that Bill and Gloria were using their ministry just to make a buck blindsided the couple and plunged Bill into a deep depression.

Gloria also remembers it as a time of fear and sadness. The educational system was being infiltrated with the "God is dead" idea, while drug abuse and racial tension were increasing. The thought of bringing another child into the world was taking its toll.

But after a simple prayer by one of Bill's close friends—a prayer that commanded the devil to back off—both Bill and Gloria recall that the strength of the Holy Spirit seemed to come to their aid. Christ's resurrection, in all its power, was reaffirmed in their hearts. They were assured that the future, left in God's hands, would be just fine.

In July 1970 a healthy baby, Benjamin, was born. Inspired by the miracle of their son's birth, "Because He Lives" poured out of the Gaithers' grateful hearts. The song clearly affirms the hope believers have in Christ. We can face tomorrow, with all its uncertainty, as we realize that God holds the future and makes life worth living.

Karen said...

Thanks Darla. I loved reading this. It's such a beautiful song and I'm not surprised to see it has a good story behind it.