If there is one question that gets asked to me as a worship leader more than any other, it is this, “What was that one song you played on Sunday?” If I’m honest, this question can make me feel a little awkward.. Typically I try to guess before this person feels pressured to start singing or humming to me in the middle of the grocery store.. In particular, this happens with songs that can’t be found in a search of Spotify, iTunes, etc. Recently, this question has come up surrounding a song often referred to as, “the grace upon grace upon grace one.” And you won’t find it on the internet…until now I guess…
Writing and sharing music is a deeply personal thing for me.
Writing is what I do to process and make sense of the constant noise in my own head. But, trying to take God’s truth and turn it into something to sing with the church is an even bigger and sometimes more intimidating task. It’s something that brings about a tension in my soul. I do want to share what the Lord is doing in my life, but I also want to be cautious to not make it a way to build my status before man. However, I have really felt a pull to post about this song, Glory, that we have sung a handful of times since our series in Romans from 2016. You know the, “grace upon grace upon grace” one.
I first recorded this song in a voice memo on my phone back in 2013. I was really processing through the doctrines of sin and salvation/my own sin and inability to truly earn my way to God by my own good works (a struggle I’ve dealt with most of my life). This was a time that I truly began to see the beauty of the gospel and understand more fully the doctrines of grace that, “he first loved us,” (1 John 4:12) “even when we were dead in our sins” (Ephesians2:5). This all came about as I was reading through Romans and saw the demands of life with God that I’m unable to meet. Especially seeing the depravity we are born into, “no one does good, no one seeks God” (Romans 3:9-12). BUT, I was also seeing the joy that comes from what we have in Jesus who perfectly kept every law. Read Romans 5. The beauty of seeing this whole picture of the gospel really brought these words out, again, primarily pulled right from the scriptures. Jesus does what we can never do, in His life, death, and His glorious resurrection.
This song sat on the shelf for a long time. I didn’t know if I would ever play it in a gathering on a Sunday. As we began studying through the book of Romans as a church though, I realized the Lord had planned all of it out long ago. So I stepped out in faith to share it with our church. The response has been so humbling. I can’t take credit for words that are out of scripture and therefore it feels awkward to say “I wrote this.”
I would prefer to think that we’re all just trying to make singable the truth of God’s love for us in Christ.
This is a song that God used to teach me about himself and sort out what was going on in my heart. Now he’s using it to do that for others as well. I’m thankful to be a part of Redeemer with all of you. I’m thankful for the many beautiful and creative ways that the Lord does his work in all of us. I’m thankful for the encouragement from the church from week to week as I hear about God’s work among us in our singing and praying and hearing the word together. My prayer is that many more songs of praise to our God will arise out of our continued pursuit of being a gospel-centered community on mission together.