Other side of the aisle…

This past Sunday was one of the sweetest times of worship we’ve had together thus far as a church.  God’s grace was clearly sensed in our singing and the proclamation of scripture.  During the service I was privileged to experience something that many of you have experienced.  As we were in the course of singing the song “Wonderful Grace of Jesus” began.  Honestly, I am not a fan of the music to this song.  I feel like it has a cadence reminiscent of a song from “Music Man” or another 1950’s musical.  Some of you like that sound very much, it’s just not my preference.  However, before we had sung the first line, the words appeared on the screen and I reflected on their weight.  I’ve sung the song (sometimes begrudgingly) many times growing up, but this time I am confident that Christ was exalted and God magnified in my heart and mind as these wonderful words were expressed.

We will continue to make stylistic adjustments and alterations, yet our desire remains fixed.  We want to engage head and heart in doctrinally rich, appropriate hymns (old and new) and choruses that point Godward, not manward and performance driven.  I feel it will probably always be a mix on Sunday mornings, and this past one was a joy  for me in dying to stylistic desires and celebrating the words that drew my heart to Romans and reflections on God’s sovereign grace.

Wonderful Grace of Jesus 

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it,
Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden,
Setting my spirit free;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Wonderful grace, all sufficient for me, for even me.
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame,
O magnify the precious Name of Jesus.
Praise His Name!

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching to all the lost,
By it I have been pardoned,
Saved to the uttermost,
Chains have been torn asunder,
Giving me liberty;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching the most defiled,
By its transforming power,
Making him God’s dear child,
Purchasing peace and heaven,
For all eternity;
And the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

One thought on “Other side of the aisle…

  1. It was so interesting to read your reaction to this song, because as we were singing it I felt my spirit especially lifted up in worship to God who poured out this wonderful grace upon me. I also sensed that was true for the congregation as a whole. I’m of the older generation who grew up loving this song. My parents always sang in the choir, and I especially remember the gusto with which my daddy sang this song in his rich bass voice. So it reminds me of my parents and the heritage I have, and how blessed I was to grow up in a Christian home where we always went to church as a family. Other generations have different styles of music they prefer, and songs, hymns, and praise choruses that are especially meaningful to them. I’m grateful that we include a variety of musical styles in our worship, and I appreciate John’s work in planning a balance in music that relates to and reinforces the message. While you may not especially appreciate the musical style of this song and I may not particularly enjoy the repetition of some of the praise choruses, we can look beyond the style, focus on the words, and together praise our Lord and Savior!


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