BEHIND THE SONG: “Beneath the Waters (I WIll Rise)”

A few weeks back I purchased the newest Hillsong album “Cornerstone” which was recorded live earlier this year at the Hillsong church in Sydney, Australia.  I have been an avid listener and fan of Hillsong music since I began ministry about ten years ago.  It was in watching one of their earlier video recordings that I really began to feel God’s Spirit rising in my heart and prompting me to enter worship ministry.  They have a unique way of writing simple, but profound songs for the global church and the quality and passion with which they do ministry is unparalleled in our world today.  There are probably about one hundred of their songs that I could have chosen to write about, but the song from their newest album “Beneath the Waters (I Will Rise)” really stood out to me…then I read the following from the author about the song and it confirmed my affinity and understanding of it.  Songwriter Scott Ligertwood explains,

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4 (NIV) 

The original idea for this song about the power and significance of baptism had been sitting on my laptop for a while, unfinished. The catalyst for completing the idea came when Pastor Brian shared that he had it on his heart to have a special baptism service at church.

At our church we have the baptismal pool at the front of the auditorium and people are baptized as the congregation witness their declaration and worship with them. We set about finishing “Beneath the Waters (I Will Rise)” for this service so that people would have a declaration to sing as they rose from the waters of baptism.

In its essence, this song is about rising to the new life Romans 6:4 speaks of as well as acknowledging the submission to Christ’s Lordship that baptism represents. In a broader sense, however, it has become a powerful confession of faith and salvation that has found a place across the life of our church, not just in a baptism setting.

I am always listening for unique songs that declare a truth or help our congregation to grasp a biblical concept, so when I heard this song, without having read the author’s explanation, the first thought in my head was this would be a great song to sing during or after a baptism.  Baptisms at Lake Superior Christian are such a momentous celebration I thought we needed a song to express that…and viola here it is!  There is a mysterious and altogether awesome meaning in the act of baptism…with all it’s symbolism and spiritual significance in the beginning of a new Christian’s walk with God,  I am grateful to Hillsong for writing this song that captures baptism’s correct biblical meaning.  Now when we do baptisms we can not only clap, hoot and holler, and cry tears of joy, we can praise God with a song of triumph!  This YouTube video of the song captures the essence of what it is like to worship with Hillsong…it also has the lyrics…very powerful and worth the watch www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTwA3NLEjY4.

Grace and blessings,

Joshua

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