MARCH 30, 2023

MARCH 30, 2023

Dear Grace Family,

As we begin the month of April, I want to make y’all aware of two changes we are making to our weekly order of worship. The first of these is in the morning worship service with the other being in the evening. Moving forward in the morning, we will be replacing The Hymn of Pardoning Grace with The Doxology. There are a few reasons for this change. First, with our current slate of four hymns each Sunday morning, we realized that we could make this change without fundamentally changing our commitment to being a singing people. Second, I’ve thought about doing this in a church for years now. It seems to me that THE most appropriate place in our services to express our praise and thanksgiving to the Triune God in this ancient way is on the heels of receiving the assurance of pardoning grace for the sins we have confessed. In other words, is there anything to be more thankful for than the fact that, in Jesus, our greatest problem has been solved and, by grace, our sins are forgiven? While we aren’t especially known for being an emotional people in corporate worship, I think you will be hard pressed to find anyone who will be able to make it through this portion of our liturgy without a visceral, even if internal, response. It always seemed strange to me growing up that we put The Doxology immediately following the offering. While we should certainly be thankful for the financial provisions of the Lord, it is way down the list from the forgiveness of sins. We can’t artificially create environments for the Spirit to work, but it is my hope and prayer that this change will quickly become a part of our time together each Lord’s Day that we look forward to with great anticipation and expectation. Oh, that the words we sing in The Doxology would be a true reflection of our hearts!

Our evening change is that we are bringing ourselves back in line with what we believe is both the biblical and historical practice of Psalm singing. In April, I have picked out four Psalter selections to reflect the theme for the evening and then in May we will start in Psalm 1 and start singing consecutively through the Psalter. Again, we should’ve been doing this all along and now we are! Cliff and Collin will work hard to ensure that we have tunes that both reflect the tone and tenor of the passage and is suitable for congregational singing. As I mentioned with the above change, I am praying that this will be something we come to love and enjoy together. It’s April, y’all. Hard to believe. See you Sunday.

Humbly yours,