Theme Song for the Current Sermon Series

This summer we’re discovering truths from 1 and 2 Peter in the sermon series Through the Fire to the Feast. Sandra McCracken’s new song We Will Feast in the House of Zion is a perfect fit as the theme song for this series at Grace Church of Alexandria.

Through the Fire to the Feast

Even in our privileged position as Christians, we still all have to pass through fire to arrive to the feast God has prepared for us, where our cup will run over. Together, the sermon series and song probe the mysteries of how we must pass through fire to get to the feast. In particular, this song sets before us the joys awaiting us so we will press on through adversity to arrive in God’s kingdom.

Composer Interview

Sandra is interviewed here in a worthwhile discussion about her album from the Psalms, on life, loss and longing.

We Will Feast in the House of Zion

Chorus 
We will feast in the house of Zion 
We will sing with our hearts restored 
He has done great things, we will say together 
We will feast and weep no more

We will not be burned by the fire
He is the LORD our God
We are not consumed, by the flood
Upheld, protected, gathered up (Chorus)

In the dark of night, before the dawn
My soul, be not afraid
For the promised morning, oh how long?
Oh God of Jacob, be my strength (Chorus)

Every vow we’ve broken and betrayed
You are the Faithful one
And from the garden to the grave
Bind us together, bring shalom. (Chorus)

from Psalms, released 14 April 2015
Written by Sandra McCracken and Joshua Moore
© 2015 Drink Your Tea (ASCAP) / Joshmooreownsthis Music (ASCAP)

Victory of Christ over the Grave

At Grace Church, we recognize that every day is a day to rehearse the gospel, every Sunday is a celebration of Jesus’s death and resurrection, and every moment is to be lived in the reality of our King’s soon return. However, this does not negate the benefit of observing Christian holidays and festivals. If there is a high point in the Christian year, it is Easter, when we especially celebrate the victory of Christ over the grave.

jerusalem-artwork

Jerusalem

As we prepare to honor this special day, we’ve been learning a new song called Jerusalem, and it was written by a group of church musicians in Australia called City Alight. Here’s whatTim Challies had to say about it recently:

What do I like about it? I like that it is written in the present tense rather than the past tense; I like the constant calls to action: See, Hear, Feel, Lift; I like the progression from the streets of Jerusalem, to the cross, to the empty tomb, to the New Jerusalem; I even like the simplicity of the melody.

Listen, Download, Watch

My hope in introducing this is that our congregation will be able to offer it up skillfully in worship on Easter Sunday. I encourage each of you to take time this week to listen to the song a few times. If you’re a musician, take a look at the sheet music and play it through. Everything you need is found right here, on iTunes, or (listen for free) on Spotify. If you really like it, I’d encourage you to support these songwriters by purchasing the song on iTunes. They also have a full album available that sounds excellent.

I’m certain this song will become a staple in our repertoire for Sunday morning worship services at GCA, and I’m greatly looking forward to singing it with you.

~ Garrett Lee, Pastor of Worship

by Pastor of Worship Garrett Lee

During this Sunday’s service (1/11), we’ll be considering the eternal plan of the triune God to obtain a people for himself, for the praise of his glory. As you prepare for our time together, consider reading through Ephesians, at least the first three chapters. You can also see what songs and Scriptures we’ll be considering together here.

www.planningcenteronline.com/plans/17338883/public

We’ll be introducing a new song, How Rich a Treasure We Possess, which expounds on this eternal plan of God to glorify himself in the church by Christ Jesus forever. I’ve attached the sheet music for you to view here. You can also listen to it on Spotify.

How Rich a Treasure We Possess

How rich a treasure we possess, in Jesus Christ our Lord
His blood our ransom and defense His glory our reward
The sum of all created things are worthless in compare
For our inheritance is Him whose praise angels declare

How free and costly was the love, displayed upon the cross
While we were dead in untold sin the Sovereign purchased us
The will of God the Father demonstrated through the Son
The Spirit seals the greatest work the work which Christ has done

How vast and measureless the flood of mercy unrestrained
The penalty was paid in full the spotless Lamb was slain
Salvation, what a priceless gift received by grace through faith
We stand in robes of righteousness we stand in Jesus’ name

(Bridge)
For Yours’ is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory
Yours’ is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory
Yours’ is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory
Yours’ is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory;
Amen, amen, amen

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

2 Corinthians 8:9

New Online Giving Option

The Bible encourages believers to give back to the Lord from his provision to us. To help making giving easier as an act of worship to God, this week we’ve launched online giving via The City for church offerings to Grace Church of Alexandria.

How to Give?

  • Where: Go to The City, GCA’s online meeting place which is at gca.onthecity.org. Then select Giving from the left menu.
  • Need an account? If you do not have access to The City, click here to request an invite.
  • How: Set up a method for giving (checking account or credit card).
  • Which Fund? Choose which fund(s) to give toward (regular offerings go to the General Fund, or choose a special fund).
  • Frequency? Decide if this is a one-time gift or a recurring gift to repeat weekly, bi-weekly or monthly

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Where Your Gifts Go

You can choose for your tax-deductible contribution to go towards the following options:

Regular offerings to go…

  • the General Fund (for the overall ministries of the church)

Special funds…

  • the GCA Future Fund (building and projects fund)
  • the GCA Adoption Fund (to help fund adoptions and post-adoption training), or
  • the 2014 Thanksgiving Offering (to benefit Aaron and Carrie Kraft, missionaries to Mexico).

A small administrative fee of several percent is deducted from each gift. Feel free to add between 1-3% to your gift to compensate for the processing fee (which does not go to GCA).

The Heart of Giving

As you give online, remember that this is a gift of worship to bring honor and praise to the LORD. To maintain a heart of worship, consider taking time to reflect and pray when you log in and give online. If you set up automatic giving once a month, considering scheduling a time for reflection and prayer once a month on the day your gift is scheduled to be sent.

Questions?

See Jonathan Matías, the lead pastor, with questions about the new online giving system.

 

 

Words can hardly capture the magnificence of the Lord’s extravagant grace. Songs and hymns help us capture the wonder of salvation and channel our hearts to praise of God. Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder is one such song that exults in the gospel.

This month at Grace Church we’re singing this moving hymn, first published in 1774 and put to new music by Indelible Grace in 2001. Other GCA songs of the month can be found here.

Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder
1. Let us love and sing and wonder
Let us praise the Savior’s name
He has hushed the law’s loud thunder
He has quenched Mount Sinai’s flame
He has washed us with His blood
He has washed us with His blood
He has washed us with His blood
He has brought us nigh to God
2. Let us love the Lord Who bought us
Pitied us when enemies
Called us by His grace and taught us
Gave us ears and gave us eyes
He has washed us with His blood
He has washed us with His blood
He has washed us with His blood
He presents our souls to God3. Let us sing though fierce temptation
Threatens hard to bear us down
For the Lord, our strong salvation,
Holds in view the conqu’ror’s crown
He, Who washed us with His blood,
He, Who washed us with His blood,
He, Who washed us with His blood,
Soon will bring us home to God4. Let us wonder grace and justice
Join and point to mercy’s store
When through grace in Christ our trust is
Justice smiles and asks no more
He Who washed us with His blood
He Who washed us with His blood
He Who washed us with His blood
Has secured our way to God5. Let us praise and join the chorus
Of the saints enthroned on high
Here they trusted Him before us
Now their praises fill the sky
Thou hast washed us with Thy blood
Thou hast washed us with Thy blood
Thou hast washed us with Thy blood
Thou art worthy Lamb of God

©2001 Laura Taylor Music.

So easily I fall into listening to songs and hymns that are primarily upbeat and positive. Yet it helps to build into your singing and listening songs that are realistic about the difficulties of the Christian life and living in a broken world.

This month at Grace Church, we’re singing Jesus I My Cross Have Taken, an old hymn to new music which helps us find refuge in Christ when things aren’t going well. This, along with the other songs in the Indelible Grace collection are worthy of buying and downloading to your music player.

For me this song reminds me of all the treasures that I have in Jesus Christ, when it seems like everything else is fading from me. Listen, and find rest in God:

From the album “Pilgrim Days: Indelible Grace II”

pilgrimdays

Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken  

Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee.
Destitute, despised, forsaken,
Thou from hence my all shall be.
Perish every fond ambition,
All I’ve sought or hoped or known.
Yet how rich is my condition!
God and heaven are still my own.

Let the world despise and leave me,
They have left my Savior, too.
Human hearts and looks deceive me;
Thou art not, like them, untrue.
O while Thou dost smile upon me,
God of wisdom, love, and might,
Foes may hate and friends disown me,
Show Thy face and all is bright.

Man may trouble and distress me,
’Twill but drive me to Thy breast.
Life with trials hard may press me;
Heaven will bring me sweeter rest.
Oh, ’tis not in grief to harm me
While Thy love is left to me;
Oh, ’twere not in joy to charm me,
Were that joy unmixed with Thee.

Go, then, earthly fame and treasure,
Come disaster, scorn and pain
In Thy service, pain is pleasure,
With Thy favor, loss is gain
I have called Thee Abba Father,
I have stayed my heart on Thee
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather;
All must work for good to me.

Soul, then know thy full salvation
Rise o’er sin and fear and care
Joy to find in every station,
Something still to do or bear.
Think what Spirit dwells within thee,
Think what Father’s smiles are thine,
Think that Jesus died to win thee,
Child of heaven, canst thou repine.

6. Haste thee on from grace to glory,
Armed by faith, and winged by prayer.
Heaven’s eternal days before thee,
God’s own hand shall guide us there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission,
Soon shall pass thy pilgrim days,
Hope shall change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.

© 2001 Bill Moore Music.

10000reasons

At Grace Church of Alexandria, we’re singing 10,000 Reasons during July worship services to give us a window into the incredible mercies and kindnesses of God. New to the song? Check out the lyrics and music video below.

Lyrics

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

[Chorus]

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

[Chorus]

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

[Chorus]

Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name
Lord, I’ll worship Your holy name

You can purchase the song here and add it to your music collection.

Song of the Month: God Moves

February 25th, 2014

How do you react when life throws you a curve ball? Where can you turn for stability and hope when an unexpected trial brings anguish into your life? I often turn to the song “God Moves,” written by a Christian to encourage himself because he struggled with dark, troubling thoughts.

William Cowper guides us to think about God’s sovereign control of history…and our story. In the hymn’s most memorable line, Cowper urges us to take heart, because “behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face.” At Grace Church of Alexandria, we’re learning this song during worship services in February and March, to anchor us when winds blow fiercely.

Download The Song and Sheet Music

Download the sheet music here for free! Better yet, purchase the song here and add this to your music collection. Join us Sundays at 10:30 am for worship as we sing God Moves.

God Moves

Verse 1–
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm
Deep in His dark and hidden mines
With never-failing skill
He fashions all His bright designs
And works His sovereign will

Chorus 1–
So God we trust in You
O God we trust in You

Verse 2–
O fearful saints new courage take
The clouds that you now dread
Are big with mercy and will break
In blessings on your head
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense
But trust Him for His grace
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face

Chorus 2–
So God we trust in You
O God we trust in You
When tears are great
And comforts few
We hope in mercies ever new
We trust in You

Verse 3–
God’s purposes will ripen fast
Unfolding every hour
The bud may have a bitter taste
But sweet will be the flower
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain
God is His own interpreter
And He will make it plain

Original words and music by William Cowper; additional words and music by Bob Kaufflin; © 2005 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI); CCLI #2928610.

No moment in a church’s life brings the cross of Christ more in focus than the Lord’s Supper. This Sunday October 13 as we celebrate Communion we’ll be singing Behold the Lamb (The Communion Hymn) for the first time. Take a moment to watch, listen, and learn the song.

Behold the Lamb (The Communion Hymn)

Behold the Lamb who bears our sins away,
Slain for us – and we remember
The promise made that all who come in faith
Find forgiveness at the cross.
So we share in this bread of life,
And we drink of His sacrifice
As a sign of our bonds of peace
Around the table of the King.

The body of our Saviour Jesus Christ,
Torn for you – eat and remember
The wounds that heal, the death that brings us life
Paid the price to make us one.
So we share in this bread of life,
And we drink of His sacrifice
As a sign of our bonds of love
Around the table of the King.

The blood that cleanses every stain of sin,
Shed for you – drink and remember
He drained death’s cup that all may enter in
To receive the life of God.
So we share in this bread of life,
And we drink of His sacrifice
As a sign of our bonds of grace
Around the table of the King.

And so with thankfulness and faith we rise
To respond, – and to remember
Our call to follow in the steps of Christ
As His body here on earth.
As we share in His suffering
We proclaim Christ will come again!
And we’ll join in the feast of heaven
Around the table of the King

Words and Music by Keith and Kristyn Getty
& Stuart Townend (2007); CCLI #2928610

One of the most important questions a friend has asked me is, “How are you preparing for suffering?” That is, how are you grounding yourself in Christ so that you can weather difficult trials that are bound to come your way?

Listening to Christ-centered music is one of the ways that helps me keep a right perspective when times are good, and when times are bad. “Mercies Anew” is a song we’re singing this month at our church in Alexandria, Virginia, to keep us focused on Christ’s mercies.

Here you’ll find video, audio, and lyrics to Grace Church of Alexandria‘s song of the month. Download “Mercies Anew” for $1 here.

Catch our other “Songs of the Month” here.

Mercies Anew

 

Lyrics

Verse 1–
Every morning that breaks
There are mercies anew
Every breath that I take
Is your faithfulness proved

And at the end of each day
When my labors are through
I will sing of Your mercies anew

Verse 2–
When I’ve fallen and strayed
There were mercies anew
For you sought me in love

And my heart you pursued
In the face of my sin
Lord, You never withdrew
So I sing of Your mercies anew

Bridge–
And Your mercies, they will never end
For ten thousand years they’ll remain
And when this world’s beauty has passed away
Your mercies will be unchanged

Verse 3–
And when the storms swirl and rage
There are mercies anew
In affliction and pain
You will carry me through

And at the end of my days
When Your throne fills my view
I will sing of Your mercies anew
I will sing of Your mercies anew

Words and music by Mark Altrogge and Bob Kauflin
© 2001 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI). CCLI #2928610

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