“A Quiet Heart” by the SoundForth Singers & Orchestra has been a real God-send.
One song in particular that has been a blessing is Only Jesus (words and music by Keith Ferguson and Bruce Greer). This song has been such an encouragement to me personally both from a doctrinal and musical standpoint. I will be touching on these two areas, more so on the musical side as the doctrine is clearly presented through the words of this song. Here are the words:
He came in weakness, tho He was strong.
Offered forgiveness tho’ we were wrong.
A loving Shepherd seeking the lost,
For only Jesus could bear the cross.
Tho’ we were guilty, He took our place.
Condemned, unworthy, he gave us grace.
No greater passion that we can know,
For only Jesus could love us so.
So many voices the world has heard.
So many choices, one Living Word.
One great Redeemer for all our sin,
For only Jesus could rise again!
Redemption’s story one day complete.
All nations worship at Jesus’ feet.
One mighty chorus, His praises sing.
For only Jesus is Lord and King!
No other Truth, no other way.
No other Name worthy of praise.
No other hope for eternal life.
Only Jesus, Lord Jesus Christ! [Emphasis added]
Are not the words just simply amazing!? The bolded phrases were the phrases that really brought home the message of the gospel. How amazing the thought that God authored forgiveness in full view of our great sinfulness, He gave grace in our unworthiness, He is the only way in our confusion, and then to be reminded that one day Redemption’s story will be one day complete… It just moves me to tears. What an amazing God!
Musically the song is very cantabile and gives a sense of reflection yet wonder on God’s redemptive work. I will break down the musical idea simply just to show how the music really supports the text.
The melody of this piece is very much servant to the text as well as the vocal arrangement. The melodic pitch begins low and then raises in pitch as the chorus begins (“No other Truth…”). The song begins with a very light texture by only having two voices, it continues to thicken as new voices and harmony are introduced (“Tho’ we were guilty…”) The introduction of these voices enhance the words like “we” and “us”. The orchestra also follow a similar line of textures to that of the voices.
The key change after the second chorus brings about musical interest and further enhances verse four’s teaching: “Redemption’s story one day complete.” The song ends by repeating the title: “For only Jesus is Lord and King!” This is the summary statement and the point of the song… “Only Jesus” our Saviour and Sovereign.
“A Quiet Heart” is a CD we should all have as part of our worship collection. It is a blessing to sit and reflect on the truths we often take for granted.