Monday, 25 May 2009

Grace Like Rain

Grace Like Rain by Todd Agnew

This post is a result of my connecting with Marie, who left a comment on this post.

Someone on Marie's blog mentioned the above song, and I replied that I actually liked it. We have not done this one in Sunday morning worship, and I really don't see it as that kind of song, but I have done it in a less formal Sunday evening context, as well as a couple of times in a secular coffee house. Let me tell you how I do it and what I like about doing this song, especially in a secular setting.

The song is an interesting take on a hymn that is familiar to most people, and I find that even non-believers like it. After singing it, I talk about how some people think the word, "wretch" is rather harsh and might be less offensive if toned down a bit. But then I say that, if there is a God, some kind of Being who brought everything we see into existence (which reason alone should lead us to realize there is), then His standards must be very high, and most of us, if we are honest, would have to admit that we haven't really lived our lives in a way that would be pleasing to such a Being. Then, of course, I mention that the author of the words of Amazing Grace was John Newton, the captain of a slave ship, and that he, after coming to a relationship with this God, realized just what a wretch he actually was. Then I say that there is really nothing wrong with realizing how short we actually fall, but that the whole basis of the Christian faith is that God has provided a way for us to have a relationship with Him in spite of our falling short of His standards, and that way is Jesus. I don't go into any more detail than that, but perhaps that's because I'm an extremely self conscious evangelist.

Then I sing the 'real' Amazing Grace. As I said, it is one Christian hymn that everyone knows and most people like and I have never had anyone, even in a secular audience, complain about my singing it. I must admit that I have also never had anyone come forward and accept Christ, but I can only trust that a seed may have been planted.

Take Care


Marie said...

Hey John,

Thanks for the shout-out. I love your idea of using the song lyrics as a way to transition into the Gospel message. I hadn't thought of that angle before, but it sounds like a great idea - A) less "confrontational" than traditional evangelistic methods; and B) more natural. Coming forward should never be the barometer of whether the Holy Spirit is calling someone, I believe.

Anyway, I'm enjoying the many edifying posts on your blog.

John K said...

I should have put a smiley face after that part about no one coming forward. I'm not really an altar call kind of guy either. I'm even somewhat uncomfortable with the phrase, "leading someone to Christ." Aside from however He uses our evangelizing, it is God alone, and in His own time, who does the work of regeneration. In that sense, I think, we don't really "choose" Him.

Marie said...

I agree...even in kids' books, I notice the emphhasis on "inviting Jesus into your heart". Well, yes but.......God's the One Who does the drawing (monergism vs. synergism). Yes, God's sovereignity does not negate man's responsibility, but reducing regeneration to a prayer at the end of a sermon is questionable. Only the Holy Spirit can truly draw someone. We're just the messengers, should He deem us worthy to be used in such a way.