Why this song?
“All Glory Be to Christ” is a near-perfect embodiment of the two principles I use to judge songs for inclusion in this blog. First, it’s scriptural: it beautifully combines direct quotes and phrases from scripture with other concepts and ideas that are clearly based on God’s Word.
Secondly, it’s congregational: it uses the melody “Auld Land Syne” aka “That song that everyone sings at New Year’.” This melody is easy to sing and easy to learn (if you’re one of the few people who has never heard it before).
Johann Sebastian Bach, the famous composer from the Baroque Period, included the letters SDG at the bottom of each of his sacred composition. It stood for “Soli Deo Gloria” (to God alone be the glory).
I think Bach would agree that this sentiment extends beyond musical compositions and Dustin Kensrue (the author of these lyrics) agrees. There is nothing we do and nothing we are capable of doing for which the glory does not belong to Christ.
In the verses he explains why we have no reason to boast, enumerates a few of the many mercies Christ shows us, and looks forward to the day when we will be made new and remain as God’s people forever.
Use in Worship
As mentioned above, this is (generally speaking) a pretty familiar melody so it is quite easy for a congregation to pick up on, even without a great deal of practice or repetition.
Given the context in which you normally hear the melody, New Year’s is an obvious choice to use this in worship, but don’t limit it to just once a year. There is no limit to the amount of times we need to be reminded that all glory belongs to Christ.
The ending of just about any service is a great choice. I would also recommend it upon the completion of a ministry project (such as a building or renovation project).