This Sunday we will be learning the song Grace, written by the songwriters of CityAlight in New Zealand. Our congregation has already benefited greatly from singing a number of their previous contributions (Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me, Only a Holy God, Ancient of Days, Christ Is Mine Forevermore). Grace is yet another hymn perfectly tailored for singing on account of its rich, biblical imagery and Christ-exalting themes, as well as a simple and singable melody.

The opening verse presents the theme, acknowledging that grace (the great gift of God) is the instigator of repentance, leading sinners home and providing a righteousness they could in now way earn through their own effort. From there the authors guide us, as it were, down the natural paths of inquiry into the who, why, how and 'what now?' of our relationship with the grace of God. Grace -- far from some hidden treasure available only to the persistent or privileged -- is freely given to all mankind. This call to receive God's gift is proclaimed to all the earth.

When seeking to understand why this grace is so free and available, the authors do well to acknowledge two equally important truths. On one hand, to fully explain God's grace would require of us a full understanding of His infinite holiness, justice and love. To fathom how He could make such an offer to sinful man is truly a strain on our finite understanding of such things. And yet, on the other hand, the answer is so very simple: "the prince of life without a stain was traded for this sinner." We may not be able to comprehend the grace but we can be assured that Jesus Christ was the perfect conduit for it.

Matched by a repeating refrain of proclamation throughout, the final verse calls every singer to faith-filled praise. We can never sing too much about His grace. Our salvation was earned by Christ and given freely to us. Our bondage has given way to freedom, and all toward these great ends: our future home and His eternal praise. The joy, reconciliation and reward afforded to us through God's grace is a most worthy theme of our praise.
Your grace that leads this sinner home
From death to life forever
And sings the song of righteousness
By blood and not by merit

Your grace that reaches far and wide
To every tribe and nation
Has called my heart to enter in
The joy of Your salvation

By grace I am redeemed
By grace I am restored
And now I freely walk
Into the arms of Christ my Lord

Your grace that I cannot explain
Not by my earthly wisdom
The prince of life, without a stain
Was traded for this sinner

Let praise rise up and overflow
My song resound forever
For grace will see me welcomed home
To walk beside my Savior
 Copyright 2016 CityAlight Music Words and music by Niki Shepherd, Jonny Robinson, Rich Thompson