(This article was compiled from the message given by Mr. Thava Chelvam at the Good Friday service at the Tamil Christian Congregation of Western Australia 2014)
A closer-to-heart hymnal “The old rugged cross” is sung during the Holy week in many churches across the world. The hymn was written more than a century ago (1912) by Reverend George Bennard (1873- 1958) in the United States of America. He is not to be confused with the English philosopher George Bernard Shaw.
Bennard, the song writer and the travelling evangelist was born in Ohio to a miner and was bred in Iowa. Personal trials in his life led him to reflect the sufferings of Christ on the cross and the Christ of the cross became more than a symbol for the parson. He wrote the hymn based on the Gospel of John 3:16 which summed up the purpose of Jesus Christ’s life on earth. It is indeed an apt hymn to be remembered during this holy week of 2014. for further reading