A few years ago, when I was directing the music in Primary, the theme of the month was “Jesus is a God of miracles.” I wanted a song to go with it. I scoured all the typical sources to find that song, but no luck. So I decided to write one.
We often talk about the wondrous miracles of Jesus Christ — walking on the water, healing the blind, raising the dead. Even when we say the word “miracle,” that’s what we think of. So of course, I began the first verse with the typical lyric lines…And then I got to the chorus. What more could I say about I planned to work on the chorus while I drove to Chicago — my son was on his way to Med School, and I didn’t want him to drive alone.
So I packed my Bible and my manuscript paper, hoping that I could work on the song a little during the drive, and I actually had a lot of time — blessed, quiet, boring time — to think. And somewhere in Nebraska, I realized that of all His miracles, the greatest by far is the one He performed for each one of us.
I know that’s not a terribly unique or profound thought. True believers understand that the Atonement is the most significant and central act of all time. True believers understand that without it, all mankind would be hopelessly, eternally lost. But that, again, is a difficult concept for children. It’s a difficult concept for anyone! And so, I made it personal. Not the miracle that rescues all of us, but the miracle that rescues ME.
I wanted to make it clear how personal the Atonement is, how uniquely suited to individual needs, inadequacies, and struggles. I could talk forever about how Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of the whole human family, but until I understand that Jesus Christ atoned for me, I don’t begin to understand the Atonement. I wanted the children to know that He loves each one of them every bit as much as He loved the children of his time and place, and that just as He ministered to them one by one, so He does to us. MY name is graven on His hands. And yours is, too.
Every time they sang it, I cried.
We cannot think about or talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ too often. We can’t rejoice in Him too much. There will never be enough words written or enough anthems sung to adequately praise Him for this act of transcendent love. The one great hope that still exists in this world is that He will rescue us every day, in every way, as we consistently come unto Him. “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
This is my awkward and halting attempt to tell you how I feel about Him and His love for me. That’s why I like writing songs. Because sometimes when the melody and the harmony and the lyrics all come together right, there’s more than a message — there’s a feeling. I hope you feel something when you hear the song, and I hope you will share it.
A huge thanks to the director of the One Voice Children’s Choir, Masa Fukuda, who arranged and recorded the instrumental accompaniment, and brought the children together to sing it so beautifully. Masa, you are a genius.
And of course, thanks to Del Parson, who was generous enough to allow me to use his artwork. It is stunningly beautiful, and it literally makes the video.
A blessed Easter season to all of you, and thanks for visiting,