Written by: Laura Chambers (February 23, 2023)
Worshipers, assemble! The time has come to lay aside all our doubts and distractions. For never have we been closer to Christ’s return than we are now. Nor has the world been as desperate for His rescue, or as hungry and thirsty for His word. It is with a renewed sense of urgency that Christy Nockels extends an invitation to God’s people, imploring them to worship at His feet, bearing His message and image to the world. This Is The Hour encourages us to receive what God desires to give us with eager hearts and open hands.
“This Is The Hour” begins with a simple, piano-driven melody, inviting us to walk into the experience. Drawing us deeper until the lyrics begin halfway in, declaring to us that we have come to the climax of our journey, the moment we were created for. Nockels’ beautiful voice compels us to wait no longer to search ourselves, seek out others, and pursue God wholeheartedly.
The soothing track “As For Me (Psalm 2)” pictures our world in chaos, filled with anger, fear, and instability. Yet we have a God who offers us an unshakeable refuge in Christ the king. It is His world, and He is in control. Nockels reminds us we can trust God to work out the details, ending with a pledge to worship Him.
Beginning softly, then intensifying, “Come Magnify” describes the magnificent attributes of God, encouraging us to lift Him up together. He is glorious and deserving of our praises.
In “Where Would I Be”, Nockels tenderly attributes her hope and peace to Jesus’ death on the cross. Others may dismiss or reframe His sacrifice, but she is adamant that she owes Him everything and loves Him for what He did. It is a love song to a lamb, sincerely devoted and determined to remember.
“The Strength That Prevails” is an instrumental drink of water, silence expressed on strings, giving us a moment to breathe in between lyrics.
“Valor” shows us that it is possible to remain steadfast in faith, even in spite of the pressures plaguing us. The imagery is that of a soldier emboldened by the sound of his Commander’s voice, the anthem of his nation, and the rhythm of God’s heart. It is His victory over death, His power, His love that gives us the will to fight our battles.
“Home” settles comfortably into the arms of Jesus, without artifice or inhibitions. We were planned and created by someone who saw all our days from the beginning to the end. He provided everything we needed and continues to accompany us on our journey. Though we strive to have something to show for our lives, all He desires is us.
“In Your Eyes” centers upon all that we can see when we look into the eyes of Jesus. Transfixed by His light and warmth, the way He views the world, the answer to every question and need. He draws us out of the wilderness of our own pursuits and towards Him for sustenance and restoration. We are reduced to our true selves, stripped of lies and disguises, compelled to draw closer.
“Christ In Me” declares the wonder of Christ indwelling our hearts. He fills our emptiness and provides for all our needs. Surrendering everything may be difficult, but the rewards are worth defying our natural inclinations towards self-sufficiency. Nockels finds a spark of life and power in Jesus (Now You’re the brightness of my eyes/My song to sing in darkest nights/You are the strength I’m standing in/My peace that no one else can give)
“Evermore” focuses on the upside of suffering, seeing pain as a magnet that pulls us into orbit around Christ.. We are truly blessed when we go through trials because we have Him. He sustains us and draws us closer to his heart, that we may overflow with His love. Just knowing Him and feeling His love and strength makes everything worthwhile. Nothing compares to it.
“This Is The Hour (Reprise)”, another instrumental track breaks in like the ebb tide, drawing us away from the safe shore into His presence. We have a moment to consider and agree with the previous song.
“Keep On” assures us that although it seems dark and desperate, our story isn’t finished. Nockels encourages us to persevere, unseen and weary, until we see the light we’re to reflect. Everything we do has a purpose, and it will be revealed in due time, if we continue to be faithful with the task He has given us.
“All For The Praise” proclaims the glory and majesty of Jesus, wondering at His willingness to share blessings with us and His desire that we continuously aim to be more like Him. It is only with a heart fully committed to Him that we can experience His life in us. A refrain from “Home” is echoed (Further up, farther in/I’m coming home to You again).
“Benediction (Breath Of God)” concludes with a final prayer evoking imagery from Ezekiel’s vision of dry bones. May God revive the dead places in our lives as we exalt Him above everything and everyone else. We don’t need to understand, we just need to believe He is who He says He is. When God breathes on us, we are restored to life and warmth.
This Is The Hour is a timely altar call in light of current events. Though we often become overwhelmed by both pain and pleasure, we must turn our eyes to Jesus if we’re to see everything else through the lens of truth. Christy Nockels cuts through the background noise of our busyness and frustration with a message of revival and hope.