Friday, September 19, 2008

The Kidron

Diane and I wrote "The Kidron" more than ten years ago and it's an unusual song for several reasons. Usually we approach a song in a more traditional way: I'll write the lyrics and then Diane will create the music to the lyrics. In this case, however, we were working on another song when the Kidron music came to her. Diane knew she had something great, but it didn't fit the song we were working on. 

When I heard the haunting melody, I knew what the music was telling about: Gethsemane.  

When Jesus and his disciples left the upper room where they had been celebrating the Passover feast, John records that they crossed over the "brook Cedron," or Kidron, and entered into the Garden of Gethsemane. The Kidron Valley separates the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives, while the brook Kidron is actually a dry steam bed, except when it rains. 

This song uses the imagery of the soft, soothing rain as a metaphor for the atonement: Christ suffered our sins; we are ransomed by the sacrifice of His life and His blood which flowed freely under the olive trees in Gethsemane as Jesus suffered the anguish of an infinite burden, and paid the debt for our cumulative sins.

The Kidron has been recorded by Michael Ballam and was presented at one of his Education Week lectures on Jerusalem. You can also hear it on our website, as sung by Anna Bjarnson Carson.

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