Monday, June 18

"First Place" gets reviewed

Reformed Worship Magazine graciously included "The First Place" in their column, songs of the season. While I appreciate the entire article, my personal favorite is the MIDI recording at the end.

"Cyberhymnal dot org, here I come!"

The First Place
“The First Place” is not in common currency in the praise and worship repertoire, but that may change with its recent appearance at John Piper’s Desiring God conference, “Above All Earthly Powers: The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World.” The song is a brilliant recasting of Colossians 1:15-20, portraying Christ’s reign over heaven and earth and in our hearts.

After establishing the supremacy of Christ in the stanzas, the refrain bursts into the Kuyperian exclamation, “Every inch of this universe belongs to you, O Christ.” The refrain concludes with personal application “So you must have in all things the first place”—that is, if Christ’s supremacy is displayed throughout all creation, certainly he should also reign in our lives.

The music complements the text perfectly, with simple chords and a low-range melody in the verses that are answered by the expanded range and energy of the refrain. The song is best accompanied by a praise band, but can also effectively be led by just piano or guitar.

The song’s composer, Matthew Westerholm, is a graduate of Trinity International University. Westerholm has been on the worship ministry staff at Harvest Bible Chapel in the northwest suburbs of Chicago since 1998. He maintains a blog at

Click to listen.


Jerry W said...

I'm sure glad God gave you "First Place" It's been part of the set of songs I use when I lead worship for small group, men's breakfasts etc. It's also one of my "pray without ceasing" songs. When I am in situations when my mind has the occasion to wander maybe where it shouldn't. What better way shut out the undesired than to sing "Every inch of this universe belongs to You O God" Also... Praise God for new Son!

Matthew Westerholm said...

Thanks for the kind words, Jerry. Although, your capitalization makes it look as if there's a new member in the TRINITY! :-)