Why this song?
When I first heard “In Tenderness” by Citizens and Saints, my first thought was: “Why don’t more modern bands write songs like this?” I suppose I shouldn’t have been that surprised to find that the lyrics are not new at all, they were written in 1894 by W. Spencer Walton. The melody, however, was written by the band and I (subjectively) believe it does a much better job highlighting the text than the original melody.
This song is bursting with joy.
The first verse describes how the angels are bursting with joy that we have been brought back into the fold of God. The second verse describes how our hearts burst with joy because they know how undeserving we truly are of God’s mercy. The final verse reflects how as sinners who have the assurance of forgiveness and salvation, we are bursting and will continue to burst with joy for all eternity.
The chorus is the burst.
The chorus acknowledges that sometimes our joy is difficult to put into words so all we can do is cry out “Oh!”
Use in Worship
Even though it’s a new melody, it still feels quite hymn-like in that there is no syncopation which makes it very easy for a congregation to pick up. The one area to be careful is what key you play the song in (the original key of A may be a bit high for most).
We have found this song particularly useful when focusing on the undeserved grace of God, the undeserving state of sinners, and the mercies God bestows on us.