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Phil Wickham’s “Living Hope” is a beautiful 21st-century hymn

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A poetic affirmation of the selfless love of Christ.

Who could imagine so great a mercy?
What heart could fathom such boundless grace?
The God of ages stepped down from glory
To wear my sin and bear my shame

Phil Wickham released this modern hymn as the title track of his 2018 album. It currently sits in the top 20 on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs Chart.

The lyrics poetically affirm Jesus Christ as savior through unequaled mercy and loving sacrifice. The first two verses speaks of an unworthy person finding forgiveness in God’s abundant love. The third verse references the resurrection of Christ and employ the image of a lion to illustrate the Lord’s majesty.

Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence, the Roaring Lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me

Phil wrote “Living Hope” with Bethel Music’s Brian Johnson through a string of texts. It began when Johnson sent Phil a voice memo with the melody, and the two continued their back and forth until it was completed. In a Behind the Song video, Wickham describes what the piece means to him:

God has rescued us from a place that we could never have rescued ourselves. Our future was death, but Jesus came in and brought life – a living hope – into our souls and into our lives. I love singing the truth of “Living Hope,” and this song has already become an anthem at both of the churches where we lead. I hope anybody who gets to hear it not only sings along, but their hearts’ cling to it as well.

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