I’ve got some reservations about this song. On the plus side – a good tune, with some rather nice chord changes.
On the minus side – the words. It’s penal substitution set to music. Which is fine, to a degree. Penal substitution is one model of what salvation means. But the line “the Father turns his face away”. Is this right? Is that what the Father did? I can accept that, struggling under the immense weight of what Spufford calls the HPtFTU, that’s what it may have felt like for Jesus. I can accept that it was necessary for God to plunge to the depths of our existence, so the Father sent no legions of angels to the rescue. But turns his face away? What image of a loving God is that? Sure didn’t God turn the sky black, rend the Temple veil and break the rocks? I don’t see that as turning away – more marking the event, making it quite clear he was watching the Son he loves as closely as ever.
And one other complaint – “brings many sons to glory”? Is it still 1522? I realise that, for St Paul, being made “sons” would have been a kind of promotion. That was his world. But now? Even the Royal Family are getting their act together with this one.
So, a strange song for a service which included the baptism of little Phoebe. We have assured her family that, because God the Father didn’t watch the death of his own Son, she can be an honorary boy.