Have you ever had a surprise party thrown in your honour? Maybe you enter the house thinking you’re alone, and suddenly, uncles and aunts, plus assorted friends, pop out from behind the furniture and yell, “Surprise!” Then young cousins by the dozens rush in from every door, squealing with a delight they’ve been barely able to contain. I guess surprise parties are an acquired taste–like practical jokes. Some folks don’t seem to mind being scared witless by a sudden barrage of noise and confusion. Others would just as soon go to the dentist for root canal work.
Jesus Paid It All was written under unusual circumstances. Did your mind ever wander during a Sunday service? Perhaps you started thinking about other things–maybe what occurred last week, or plans for the coming week or what you will be doing later that day. Something like that happened to the writer of a familiar hymn.
Few things in nature seem as awe-inspiring as thunder and lightning. For the Christian, the flash and echoing din are a reminder of the greatness of our God. That is how it was for Carl Boberg, one day in 1886. Carl Gustaf Boberg (1859-1940) was a Swedish pastor, and later a senator in the Swedish parliament. He went for a walk one summer day and got caught in a sudden thunderstorm.