Are We Less Amazed These Days By Grace?
There are times when finding just the right songs to prayerfully put together for a service can be hard to do – but what if we were tasked to write a new worship song for each week? This is what our featured worship leader does each week. In fact – at his church – he may write two to three new songs for a special service like New Years service. Who is this amazing worship leader? His name is John Newton – and he has long since been departed.
It is true – Newton would write a new song each week to go hand-in-hand with his sermon. Often, he would introduce multiple new songs during a high attendance service. During one such service January 1, 1773 he introduced a new song he had written with six verses. We’ve gotten all too familiar with the song today:
“Amazing Grace – how sweet the sound – that saved a wretch like me!”
Somewhere along the line we managed to strip much of Newton’s work down to about three verses…and we even rewrite a verse that Newton had nothing to do with:
“When we’ve been there ten thousand years – bright shining as the sun”
Yep…that verse. Has nothing to do with Newton. Wasn’t in the song to begin with. Its actually from “Jerusalem, My Happy Home” and managed to get combined with Newton’s work in Harriet Beecher’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin back in the mid 1800’s.
Since then, many adaptations have been made of the song. This song – over 200 years old – was one of many “I need to write a song this week” songs…and yet it has united congregations – marched souls down to alters – sweetly guided tears at funerals – and held the course of time because of the truths it held in 1755…and still holds today.
Are the songs we are writing today fitting the same mold to survive over 200 years from now?…or only to fit a key progression for this weekend’s service?