Look & Live is actually a meditation on word “Behold” and how that relates to worship, so I was pretty exhilarated to work on a song whose main idea or “north star” was "come behold”.
I would say the book and the song really have 2 Corinthians 3:18 as their wellspring….”And we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed from one degree of glory to another, for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” The verse essentially says that to “behold” is to “become”….to see glory, or beauty, is to change. And later in that chapter he says what the “glory” is….specifically…it is the glory of God in the "face of Christ”.
So the song rather simply and poetically unpacks the glory that we were made to “behold”….the glory of the person of Christ.
- Verse 1 is The birth of Christ and I have been delighted to hear that many churches love doing this song around Christmas time because of this.
- Verse 2 is the life of Christ….”see the true and better Adam”….the one who lived the life we should have lived.
- Verse 3 is the death of Christ
- Verse 4 is the resurrection of Christ.
I remember working on each verse trying our best to fight to communicate the “mystery” of the glory….the paradox of it.
“Come Behold the wondrous mystery, Christ the Lord upon the tree”. “Come Behold the wondrous mystery, slain by death the God of life”. The gospel is a “mystery” (Colossians 1:26, Ephesians 3:6, 1 Peter 1:12), and “mystery” and transcendence is a thing that the modern church has been lacking in for some time.
The power of “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery" is in it’s simple folk-like melody, paired with it’s ancient/poetic and gospel-rich lyric. Because of this, it lends itself to so many settings and interpretations.
I read once in a book on art, that one mark of a great song or a great work of art is that the song or work becomes “the people’s”. As time passes it begins to belong to the community, more than it does the writers/artists….to be associated with the community more than the writers. I feel that way about this song. “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery” is not mine or Matt Boswell’s or Michael Bleecker’s song. It’s the Church’s song. And I praise God for that.
How are you using this song? What is your favorite lyric?
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