Since beginning our sermons in Genesis, I have been looking for and praying for a song which closely coincides with the themes of Genesis, namely: we are strangers on this earth who travel by faith toward our unimaginably wonderful inheritance, empowered by our faithful and almighty God. The song which caught my eye more than any other was Wayfaring Stranger, for both its melody (musically communicating the emotions of a heavy-hearted, sojourning saint) and its focus (looking toward heaven with God).
Wayfaring Stranger is a well-known 19th Century spiritual which describes the plight of a Christian sojourning through this world. I felt this song had huge potential, but as I examined the original words, as well as other versions, I failed to find lyrics as compelling as I had hoped them to be. I then set out to re-write all new lyrics using the original melody, and the following lyrics are what the Lord blessed me with.
At the bottom of this page is a list of Scriptures which I am heavily referencing within the lyrics, in order of where the ideas appear in the song. I encourage you to study some of these so that you’re not only learning a new encouraging song, but also growing in the Word. I pray these Scriptures and song will deeply enrich you and “…equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:21)”:
I am a poor, wayfaring stranger. I’m swiftly passing through this world.
I must not settle in this encampment. I seek God’s city through gates of pearl.
I wander here, this world enticing. I wade through sin, which clings so close.
Lush, fleeting pleasures around me begging grasp for my soul. My longing grows….
I long to look on my possession, my living hope, no more to roam.
When this world melts before His glory, the King’s new world will be my home.
I was a sinner, deaf in my deadness, blind in my darkness, sick in my greed.
Could not know Treasure if I saw it, I drank of poison, of filth would feed.
The Father’s wrath was fixed upon me, but He had chosen my name for life.
The Son absorbed His Father’s fury.
Death put to death by the death of Christ!
By faith I know the Risen Savior, the One who breaks the back of sin.
No other name can bring salvation. Where would I go if not to Him?
O Lord Your grace is great among us, Your goodness fills each day and night,
As we are blessed let us be blessing, may salt be salt and light be light!
In faith we walk, parts of a family, Your Bride from every tribe, tongue and kin.
Our harmony of lives an offering, we shout the earth’s most mighty hymn!
We will not fear, this path before us! We trust the promise of our Lord!
The Father calls, the Spirit seals us, the Son secures His saints’ reward!
I am a citizen of heaven, I am no citizen of earth!
I’ll speak aloud of His salvation! I’ll sing the LORD’s eternal worth!
II Corinthians 4:18 – 5:5 – we are sojourners here
Hebrews 12:1 – sin clings to us and the world entices
Hebrews 11:24-25 – fleeting pleasures of sin
I Peter 1:3-4 – living hope, imperishable inheritance
II Peter 3:7-13 – new heavens and earth
II Corinthians 4:3-4 – blind to see the Gospel truth
Romans 1:18 – the Father’s wrath was fixed on us
Ephesians 1:4 – the Father chose us
Romans 3:25 – Christ absorbed the Father’s wrath
Hebrews 2:14-15 – death itself was put to death by Christ
Romans 6:6 – body of sin brought to nothing by Jesus
Acts 4:12 – no other name saves
I Peter 2:9 – we are a people for His possession, called out of darkness
Ephesians 1:13-14 – the Spirit seals us as a guarantee of salvation
Hebrews 11:19-22 – Son secures salvation for us
Hebrews 11:13-16 – citizens of the heavenly kingdom
Revelation 21 & 22