Music Monday: Bright & Glorious by Austin Stone Worship

This week’s Music Monday is a song from Austin Stone Worship’s latest album, King of Love.

Austin Stone provides the most extensive resources on their songs–including video tutorials for the parts of each instrument for each song, and a brief discussion of the theology behind each song. It’s very impressive, and their desire to help the Body of Christ musically shines through.

The song “Bright & Glorious” comes from the doxology found in Revelation 5:12-13:

They said with a loud voice:

“The lamb who was slaughtered is worthy
to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory
and blessing!”

I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say:

“Blessing and honor and glory and dominion
to the One seated on the throne,
and to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

This is the song of the redeemed, praising our great God and Savior. “Bright & Glorious” invites us to practice harmonizing with that song today.

The verses are built around the structure “____________ is the Lamb who was slain”; we sing that He is “worthy,” “holy,” and “risen.” The Lamb who was slain had “the weight of sin and shame on Him…laid,” and “His love and justice met and our ransom paid.” By His resurrection “He trampled over death.” There is a deceptive simplicity to these verses; they contain so many major truths of Jesus’ death and resurrection in disproportionately few words. It’s remarkable lyric writing, and the music is written so that the verse melody only truly resolves in the chorus.

In the chorus, we sing the unparalleled glory of Jesus Christ our King. “There is no other, there is none higher,” indeed. Jesus’ name is “bright and glorious,” an interesting and unusual description that I find compelling. That His name is “bright” is not a common description, but I think it’s an apt description of its value and appeal. According to Peter and John, there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12); “bright” has ideas of attention-grabbing (like a light in a dark place) and value (like the luster of gold and precious stones).

Finally, in the bridge, we sing Revelation 5:13 over and over again. As the music builds, our hearts are invited to build in the love and adoration described in John’s vision.

Matt Blackwell from Austin Stone Church writes about this song:

Jesus is the One who is indescribable in moral perfection and at the same time the One who takes on weakness as the perfect lamb, the perfect
sacrifice whose death covers sin.

Jesus was born in weakness, but He is the heir of all power. He became the
poorest of the poor (2 Cor. 8:9), and yet He owns all the riches of heaven.
Men mocked Him and spit on Him, calling Him a fool; yet He is the very
wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24; Col. 2:3). They laughed at His kingship and put
Him in a mock robe & crown. But now He reigns as King! He has received all
honor and glory!

The humility of Jesus and the sufficiency of His grace lead us to bless him as
the “Worthy Lamb.” At the same time, the weight of Jesus’ worth and the
perfection of His holiness lead us to praise Him as King.

It’s a great, great song that’s well-written and extremely helpful in drawing our attention and our affections up to our great and glorious King.

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