As I read this week’s scripture reading for our sermon (Hebrews 4:14-16), one phrase stuck out in particular: “throne of grace.” When I imagine approaching the throne of God, there are a lot of things I could definitely be afraid of. I could fear punishment for all the things I’ve done wrong. Instead, I take comfort and am forever grateful for grace as I approach that throne. Our high priest is Jesus, and it’s because of Him that grace is available from that throne. This week’s songs all center on those thoughts.
1. Wonderful Grace of Jesus
We start right off the bat with the most difficult song of our set list this week. Written in 1918, this song gives the men a chance to take over the melody for the first half of the chorus. Check out this amazing rendition of the song with over 1 million views on YouTube!
2. Grace Greater Than Our Sin (Marvelous Grace)
Have you ever heard a song title and said “I don’t know that one,” but then once someone started singing it, you realized you do? That’s what happened to me when I first ran across this song this week. Just like the last song declares that grace is greater than our sin, this song does the same, but with a more contemplative feel.
3. His Grace Reaches Me
Out of all the songs we’re singing about grace, I dare say that none of them make it more personal than this one. Whitey Gleason, the composer of this song, performed it with a group he was in called the Blackwood Brothers. While it was an instrumental rendition, this song appears to have exclusively made its way into the Church of Christ as I can’t find hardly any info on the song in my usual places. I’m so glad it did, though!
4. Shine On Us
If you’ve ever attended a concert by Michael W. Smith, the crowd almost always expects him to sing “Friends,” much to his dismay, which he co-wrote with his wife. However, when it comes to songs that continue to be sung in church, I think this one will probably outlive “Friends,” much to his relief. (Michael tends to poke fun at how saccharine “Friends” is, but I digress). This song, which he also co-wrote with his wife, is a beautiful prayer asking for God’s light, love, and grace to shine down on us.
5. Always Forgiven
Now that I’m thinking about this song, I wonder if I should take back my earlier comment about “His Grace Reaches Me.” This song makes grace just as personal, if not even more so. Starting with the line “I don’t deserve to be Your servant, and how much less to be Your child,” the chorus then reflects on how much God has showered us with His blessings. Take a listen and see which song you think makes grace more personal.
6. Before the Throne of God Above
The words to this song actually trace back to a hymn written back in 1863! It never seemed to gain mass popularity here in America, but in 1997, Vicki Cook made a trip to England and heard it over there. She was shocked that the powerful lyrics had never made it to America. They tried singing it at her church when she got back home, but it ended up bombing with the audience. She stuck the lyrics in her Bible and before she knew it, she had written a completely new tune to these 130 year old lyrics. Vicki’s version of the song has now become a standard in churches in America. Once you hear the song, it’s easy to see why.
7. When We All Get to Heaven
”Sing His mercy and His grace!” I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get to stand around the throne and sing about His mercy and His grace.
ORDER OF SERVICE
Wonderful Grace of Jesus
Grace Greater Than Our Sin (1,2,4)
His Grace Reaches Me
Shine On Us (1,2)
SCRIPTURE READING – Hebrews 4:14-16 (ESV)
Before the Throne of God Above
When We All Get to Heaven (1,4)