Death May Approach

from New Scottish Hymns


Death may approach I shall not flee
For daily I have trained to be
Alive to Christ and dead to sin
Death cannot end what Christ begins

No longer warmed by Satan’s fires
Yet burned by unreformed desires
Spirit of God, attend our flesh
Fountain of life, our souls refresh

Whether at risk to life or limb
Ever our hope is found in Him
As Jesus suffered, so shall we
But not beyond His wise decree

Take up His yoke where freedom reigns
In love He chastens those He trains
Joy has its root, and grace its key
In patience and humility

Many the saints who fell before
Grief for our loss is fresh and sore
Though death may hold them for a day
Jesus has conquered, so shall they

Hallelujah! Christ arose
Bearing the wounds He gladly chose
Emblems of pain transformed by grace
Sins cancelled out, joy in their place

About the Song

New Scottish Hymns

Easter, Jesus, Resurrection

Romans 6: 1-11; 1 Corinthians 15: 55-57; Matthew 28: 1-10


Greg de Blieck

Greg de Blieck


“Death may approach, I shall not flee…” Is this opening line simply bravado? How deeply does this courageous statement penetrate? Threatened with death, would I really calmly accept it like those great Christian martyrs? Like Bonhoeffer, or Tyndale, or Stephen? Or would I turn tail and flee, like the disciples when Jesus was taken in the garden? If I don’t know how I would respond, should I really have written these words, or should we really sing them? To answer that, we have to understand the role of hymn words in these instances. We are called to preach truth to ourselves, to use it to steady our knocking knees. This is because we lose perspective, we lose our sense of place, our new identity, our hope. We forget what Christ has done and His great presence with us. We lose sight of the evidence of God’s sovereignty which has marked our daily lives. We forget to ask the Spirit to attend our flesh – to give us our daily bread. But if I can see my own death in the context of the daily dying which I must do to sin, in the context of Jesus’ enlivening presence, the joys of His daily duties, His example in suffering, His loving chastening…If I can see my death in this context, I will find a firm foundation when it comes – it will not be such a surprise, I will have the measure of death, and he will not seem quite so fearsome without his sting. I will have words of truth to remember. And more than words, I will have the very presence of Christ. The inspiration of this hymn can be found in Romans 6: 1-11. Paul writes of Jesus’ death and resurrection and reminds us that through uniting with Christ in death and allowing him to deal with our sin, we are also subject to a new life in his resurrection. If I do have courage to face death calmly when it comes, I know at least where my courage will come from.

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Song: Death May Approach

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