About the Song "O Sacred Neck, Now Wounded"

Friends, we’re excited to be releasing tomorrow “Lament Songs” the fourth album from The Porter’s Gate Worship Project. One of the songs on this record has already generated some questions and inquiries, so we decided to send this email in advance of the record’s release. Tomorrow, we’ll also send a songwriter video from Keith Watts who will share some additional thoughts about his songwriting process for “O Sacred Neck, Now Wounded.”

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Keith Watts on writing "O Sacred Neck, Now Wounded"

Song Background

One of the most consistent themes in both traditional hymns and more contemporary worship music is the theme of seeking the face of Jesus - of turning our eyes to Him and asking Him to open the eyes of our hearts that we might more fully see Him in our midst. And the good news for us is that Jesus spoke very clearly about the kinds of places that we will find Him. He tells us that when we visit the hospital, that we will see His face in the face of the sick, that when we feed those who are hungry, that we will see His face in the face of the poor, and that when we visit criminals in their incarceration, that we will see His face in the face of the prisoner. Indeed, Isaiah describes the Suffering Servant as the One who is disfigured and the One from whom people avert their eyes. In His life in this world, Jesus knew hunger, He knew sickness, He knew imprisonment, He experienced brutality before being brought to the courts, His body was pressed and beaten, and He died a public death of asphyxiation on the cross - His Sacred Head, His Sacred Hands, His Sacred Feet, His Sacred Neck all despised and rejected.

It is for these reasons we decided to release this original song which draws from the hymn “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” in pondering the suffering of Christ, but also asking us as listeners and worshippers to contemplate where Jesus is still revealing His presence to us. As we as a Nation and as a Church are seeking to bear one another’s burdens in lamenting the historic and contemporary realities of those who continue to suffer, we hope that God will still give us eyes to see Jesus' identification with all those who are beaten down. Only the sufferings of Christ offer the world salvation, but it is our hope that as we contemplate Jesus, the very image of God, that we will also be spurred on to see His image in all of His children, especially in the sick, the poor, and the oppressed. The chorus to this song reads:

O Man of Sorrows beaten down
Our Brother’s blood cries from the ground
You bore our sins, we turned our eyes from You
The Lamb of God.

As each of us watches the violence on our television sets and in our social media feeds, we hope that this song and this whole record will be an occasion for us to grow in compassion toward one another and to look for His face in every scene, even as we continue to call out “Come, Lord Jesus!”

We will send an email tomorrow with a link to the record as well as videos and further reflections from songwriter, Keith Watts.


Megan and Isaac Wardell

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40


aboriginal artwork of Stations of the Cross

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