One of the hymns featured on the radio and the website this month is the beloved, O Sacred Head, Now Wounded. The words were written sometime in the twelfth century, yet they are as powerful today as they were over 800 years ago.
The writer of this medieval hymn was a French monk by the name of Bernard of Clairvoux. Revered by both John Calvin and Martin Luther, Bernard preached a devotion to Christ that still inspires today. the hymn was first written in Latin, then translated into German by Rev. Paul Gerhardt and finally into English by Rev. James Alexander.
On the website our hymns are accompanied by fascinating historical/biographical information and a brief devotional inspired by the words of the hymn. Below are the inspirational thoughts that are included with this great hymn. May they lift your spirit and inspire your devotion to Christ.
With the Season of the Cross upon us, our thoughts are drawn to Jesus' death. It's a season of sober feelings and somber emotions as we consider the weight of our sin and the wonder of God's grace.
When he wrote the poetry to O Sacred Head, Now Wounded sometime in the twelfth century, Bernard of Clairvaux experienced these same feelings. His words create a stirring picture of Jesus, head bowed and bloody under the crown of thorns cutting into his flesh. But, even more stirring is his heartfelt confession that "mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain."
In our hectic world, it's so easy to be caught up with the cares and concerns of this life...worrying about finances, work that never seems to get done, or keeping up with family and friends. But with the words of this week's hymn, our attention is pulled back to the thing that matters most: Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross. Even on our busiest days, may we never forget to thank Him for this inconceivable act of love.
Today, consider the words to this wonderful hymn and remember Jesus' suffering anew. His torture was our triumph. His sorry was our salvation. And then in response to Christ's astounding sacrifice, may we echo the sentiments of Bernard of Clairvaux as we sing this timeless hymn:
O make me Thine forever;
And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never,
Outlive my love for Thee