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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Indelible Grace

I remember the first time I was introduced to the music of Indelible Grace. I was a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and was taking a class called the Worshipping Church led by Chip Stam. He played a few songs by the group. In particular, I remember Poor Sinner Dejected by Fear from their album titled Pilgrim Days.

The song had an immediate impact. The lyrics were theologically rich and compelling. Verse 2 says:


Come just as thou art, with thy woe. Fall down at the feet of the
Lamb. He will not, he cannot say, go, but surely will take out thy
stain. A fountain is opened for sin, and thousands its virtues have
proved. He’ll take thee and plunge thee therein, and wash thee from filth in his blood.
I knew I had to investigate more of this music by Indelible Grace. What I found was a group of talented artists, talented singers, talented musicians, and talented authors who have collaborated in many projects with the goal of making old hymns more assessable for a new generation.

The goal of the musicians who put out the Indelible CD’s is to set theologically rich old hymns to new music hoping that the hymns will be reclaimed by a generation who have in many respects neglected old treasures.

This fall, Indelible Grace released its 6th album (counting Your King Has Come), titled Wake Thy Slumbering Children, and it is a success along with the previous albums. My current favorites on the latest release are: O, Help My Unbelief, Abide in Me, Beneath the Cross of Jesus, Give Reviving, and All Must Be Well.

Many of the albums have hymns which you have heard and sung before, provided you have spent some seasons in a local church that still uses the hymns. For example, on Indelible Grace I you find songs like And Can It Be and I Need Thee Every Hour, and on the album Pilgrim Days you find How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds and On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand. But you will also find hymns that you have never heard before like Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul and Sometimes A Light Surprises.

The familiarity of the hymns will surely be conditioned upon your denominational background, my own is a mixture of Methodist and Baptist. I find that many of the recorded hymns by Indelible Grace are hymns still present in the Baptist Hymnal, but are typically the songs not sung anymore in Baptist Churches, even the traditional one in which I am a member. For example, I was not even aware of hymns like Jesus I My Cross I Have Taken, Jesus I Come, For All the Saints, and Come Ye Disconsolate.

I find though in the later albums that most, if not all, of the hymns were unfamiliar to me previously. I had never heard any of the songs recorded on Wake Thy Slumbering Children and only two on Beams of Heaven. Nevertheless both albums are exceptional in quality and devotion. You certainly do not have to be familiar with them to be blessed by them.

You can order Indelible Grace CD’s online, located at igracemusic.com. In addition to purchasing wonderful CD’s, you can buy a hymn book that includes many of the songs recorded on the albums plus many more. The site includes many articles about hymn writers and the importance of hymns to the church.

Some of the musicians that make up Indelible Grace travel around the country. They play in different venues. They play at Seminaries, Conferences, Churches, and even in homes. You can find their schedule here.

Check them out and pass their work around. Invite them to your church. They are truly a blessing.

4 comments:

Les Puryear said...

Matthew Smith, of Indelible Grace will be the worship leader at our Small Church Leadership Conference in Lewisville, NC from March 27-29, 2008. Check it out at http://www.sbcsmallchurch.org

Les

Jason Morrison said...

Les,

I checked out the Conference preview some time back and it is overdue. I am thankful for your leadership in organizing it.

I have heard Matthew Smith lead two concerts, one at Southern Seminary and one at Erskine College. I know the conference will be enriched by his inclusion.

Jim U. said...

Hey! I was going to mention Matthew Smith too. I picked up his album without know about the Indelible Grace stuff and loved it. I just wish they would put it out in iTunes.

Jason Morrison said...

Jim,

It is always a wonderful experience to discover great treasures.