Not my grandparents’ church – it’s actually our church

This morning I had a moment of reminiscence. I am not sure if I was daydreaming or remembering, nor do I know what triggered it, but all of a sudden I found myself remembering being at my Grandparents’ church singing “To God be the Glory!” A rememberiscence:

TO GOD BE THE GLORY! great things He hath done!

So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,

Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,

And opened the life-gate that all may go in.


Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Let the earth hear His voice!

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Let the people rejoice!

O come to the Father through Jesus the Son;

And give Him the glory, great things He hath done!


O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood!

To every believer the promise of God;

The vilest offender who truly believes,

That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.


Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,

And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son:

But purer and higher and greater will be

Our wonder, our worship, when Jesus we see!

I can remember the gusto with which the congregation was singing. I was only about 5 or 6 in my memory, and I don’t think I understood the words very well, but I sensed how important these words were to the people who were singing them. Both my sets of Grandparents went to the same church and I can remember whichever ones I was with, they would sing with joy and fervour.

This morning as I was singing with gusto (in my head, my son was asleep next door) I thought of the second thief, crucified next to Jesus. He may not have been ‘the vilest offender’ but he was a convicted criminal (and all sin is equal). He did not have a deep understanding of Jesus’ teaching or message. But he truly believed and that moment he was pardoned: “today you will be with me in paradise.”

Forgiveness is not always easy for us to give or receive. Sometimes we need to take time to get to a place where we can forgive others or ourselves. But God’s forgiveness is instantaneous. He does not hold grudges. He loves us unconditionally, forgives us instantly and reinstates us completely. Wow, that’s amazing grace… perhaps I had better stop now before I start singing again!

Be blessed, be a blessing.

The Rev. Billy Graham tells of a time early in his career when he arrived in a small town to preach a sermon. Wanting to mail a letter, he asked a young boy where the post office was.

When the boy told him, Rev. Graham thanked him and said, “If you’ll come to the Baptist church this evening, you can hear me telling everyone how to get to Heaven.”

“I don’t think I’ll be there,” the boy said. “You don’t even know your way to the post office.”

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