the most beautiful thing // stephen bautista

Each month I have been posting a self composed hymn that correlates with the season
in the church year but this month I have been given a different challenge.

I have taken a song written by Christian musician, Stephen Bautista,
and arranged it as a congregational hymn.

The song’s title “The Most Beautiful Thing” may not sound like a fitting Lent song
but Stephen’s lyrics and you’ll see in a unique way – they fit the message of the cross.


Christian musician Stephen Bautista

The Most Beautiful Thing

The warm subtle hues of a delicate bloom
and a song bird that greets the new morning
a cascading stream flowing through fields of green
and the mountains that rise up before them
In oh so many ways the beauty of life has shined on my face
and yet i know of one thing that surpasses by far the beauty i’ve seen


The most beautiful thing I know is the cross with a savior who died for us all
and the blood that flowed from his hands and feet and the wounds he bore so that we’d be redeemed
this is the most beautiful thing


I’ve stood on the edge of a grand precipice
overwhelmed by the span of creation
then sat teary eyed while the sun paints the sky
as it settles beyond the horizon
and i’m still so amazed at the beauty that life has shined on my face
but one thing stands alone unrivaled and incomparable


The most beautiful thing I know is the cross with a savior who died for us all
and the blood that flowed from his hands and feet and the wounds he bore so that we’d be redeemed
this is the most beautiful thing


If you would like to hear Stephen’s song “The Most Beautiful Thing” you can download it
and two other songs for free at his website by signing up for his newsletter.


Photography courtesy of

Stephen will be visiting our church next month to play for us and in the meantime we are singing
“The Most Beautiful Thing” so that when he comes we can glorify the Lord together.

You can also listen to me singing my arrangement of “The Most Beautiful Thing” as a hymn.

I have permission from Stephen to notate his song for congregational use.
If you are interested in singing the song or using it for worship please contact him.


jubilee! // hymn #5 of challenge

Sound the trumpets!
It is the year of the Lord’s favor!
The year of Jubilee! The Day of Atonement!

Ben Shahn // Man Sounding Jubilee Trumpet

Ben Shahn // Man Sounding Jubilee Trumpet

Epiphany is the season of Jesus’ ministry that began after he was baptized.
For my Epiphany hymn I referenced the church calendar and chose the gospel text from
Luke 4:16-21,

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down.
The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them,
“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Whew! Can you imagine?!
This made the people of Jesus’ home town so mad that they wanted to throw him off a cliff.

Jesus was saying publicly that he was the chosen Messiah. That he was going to deliver the people from their slavery of sin. He was going to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…
what could this be other than the year of jubilee?!

The year of jubilee was celebrated by the Jews every fifty years and was sometimes only experienced once in a lifetime. The slaves were freed from their masters and inherited land  lost through debt was given back to the original family as their inheritance.

Leviticus 25:10,  Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan.

You see just as the year of Jubilee freed the Jews and renewed their inheritance Christ came to set us free from slavery and return our inheritance of heaven!

Jesus walked right past his angry neighbors unharmed and continued to do what his Father willed.

To lay down his life for all, even his enemies,
to save us from our chains of sin to enter the freedom of heaven’s rest.


Unauthorized copying, duplication or alteration of this composition is a violation of laws.

You can print a pdf document of the hymn by clicking it’s title here, Jubilee! All of my hymns are copyrighted. You should not alter the music in any way and give me, the composer, full recognition for the piece. If you would like to use the hymn publicly please ask permission by contacting me at

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