Grace in Song

Songs have a wonderful way of wiggling into our lives. I am so grateful for the writers of hymns and melodies who capture the Gospel of Jesus Christ in pithy, short statements that I can remember.

One such is Robert Robinson, who wrote “Come Thou Fount” in the 1700’s. Take a look at this remarkable verse:

“O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.”

It isn’t so much that he mentions grace, or our wandering hearts, or God’s goodness. All great. But I was struck that he managed to get in a key word: “daily.”

How great a debtor I am to grace every single day.
Every single day, this wounded and fallen pastor again looks to the cross, and realizes what wondrous grace is there for all who are in Christ.

And tomorrow again. And again. And again. O to grace how great a debtor – except it is grace, never to be paid back, always and only a gift.

And I receive of it every day. Ha.

After “Come Thou Fount,” I listened to another of my favorites, Chris Rice. No 18th-Century theologian he; his “Untitled Hymn” comes straight at my generation. Yet it strikes me with grace again:

“Weak and wounded sinner, Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus, Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!”

Catch that image: weak, wounded, left to die… come, raise your head just a little, here comes love. And love’s name is Jesus. He passes near, and he brings life.

There is such hope in this world. Not because of people. Because of my God of grace, whose mercies never fail.

May Christ’s goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart forever to my Savior!

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