In Stephen's Shadow
It has been said before that the blood of martyrs is the seed of the church. Through persecution and trouble, the church continues to experience spiritual (and perhaps even physical) growth as God's Word continues to change hearts and lives. And, the confession of those who have lost their lives because of their Christian faith rings out loud and clear as a powerful testimony to God's unshakeable and enduring promises. Laurie Gauger's new hymn text praises God for promises kept--even as these martyred saints were called to their eternal home.
Sarah's tune for this new hymn combines both a bittersweet melody of remembrance as well as an uplifting song of triumph to commemorate the martyrs and to "see the victory in their death."
In Stephen's shadow they are slain, these martyrs for the Savior,
Cut down by bullet, bomb, or blade, by Satan's burning anger.
But see the vict'ry in their death: refusing to deny him,
They call out Christ in their last breath, and he is there beside them,
In death their dear companion.
No, Death, you cannot silence them! Their ashes tell the story
Of Christ's death in Jerusalem: his love and blood and glory.
No grace can bury saving faith or stop the church from growing.
Upon the cross we keep our gaze. While martyr blood is flowing.
The church's song is soaring!
We trust you, Lord, to shield us now from those who strike with terror
Because your cross has marked our brow, because we call you Savior.
Though churches burn and buildings fall, our hearts will not be shaken,
For you are Christ, the King of all! In you we sleep and waken.
Our souls cannot be taken.
And if the devil, full of hate, would tempt us to deny you,
Lord, make us strong to shout your name, to stand and glorify you!
Oh, make us conquer'rs in the fight. Give us a faith unbending.
Then greet us in the dying light, your wounded hands extending,
And grant us life unending.
We praise you, Christ, for martyred saints who die, your name confessing.
We sing with joy, we sing with pain this hymn of blood and blessing.
For your dear Word they lose thier lives and leave the world that scorns them.
You bless their final sacrifice: with gleaming gold you crown them,
With robes of white adorn them.
Included in your purchase: PDF of Piano Accompaniment and Guitar Chords and Congregation Bulletin TIFF file (legal size). Please contact me for MP3 file of piano accompaniment only.
Suggested donation: $15
Purchase of this song includes permission to copy and use the music freely within an individual congregation. Purchases may not be transferred to or used in other congregations. If you have questions about this, please contact me.