Listening Through Lent: Were You There?

While pondering about a hymn to use for Lent there is one that keeps playing in my head. It is the title “WERE YOU THERE ?”

This song was likely composed by African-American slaves in the 1800’s. The song was first published by Barton in 1899 OLD PLANTATION HYMNS. Barton adds “There are some of the more recent plantation hymns which have added an element of culture without diminishing religious fervor. One of the best of these is “WERE YOU THERE ?” It dwells on the details of the crucifixion, and the separate stanzas add only a single line to the song. It is a tender and beautiful hymn, the climax of its effect depending largely on the hold and slur on the exclamation “OH” with which the third line begins and the repetition and expression of the word “TREMBLE ! TREMBLE ! TREMBLE !”

Having said this I would like to add that this song can only truly be sung by those who have who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus and can answer by God’s grace “I” was there. Himself for me!

  1. Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble! Tremble! TREMBLE!

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

  1. Were you there when they nailed him to the cross? Where you there?

Were you there when they nailed him to the cross?

Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble! Tremble! TREMBLE!

Where you there when thy nailed him to a cross?

  1. Where you there when they pierced him in the side? Where you there?

Where you there when they pierced him in the side?

Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble! Tremble! TREMBLE!

Where you there when they pierced him in the side?

  1. Where you there when they laid him in the tomb? Where you there?

Where you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble! Tremble! TREMBLE!

Where you there when they laid him in the tomb?

  1. Where you there when He rose up from the dead? Where you there?

Where you there when He rose up from the dead?

Oh! It makes you want to shout! GLORY! GLORY! GLORY!

WERE “YOU” THERE WHEN HE ROSE UP FROM THE DEAD?

 

Three men shared death upon a hill
But only one man died;
A thief and God Himself-
Made rendezvous.

Three crosses still
Are borne up Calvary’s hill
Where sin still lifts them high;
Upon the one sag broken men
Who cursing die,

Another holds the praying thief,
Or those who penitent as he,
Still find the Christ
Beside them on the tree.
~Miriam Le Fevre Crouse.

 

On which cross are You?
WERE YOU THERE?
Jesus keep me near the cross!

~Nick & Diana Laninga

 

 

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