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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Oh, Glorious Day

I have never been much of a fan of contemporary music. All my life, I have loved the sound of Southern Gospel. I love nothing more than the blending of a keyboard, acoustic, and bass guitar. Add the drums, electric and steel guitars, and there is nothing that sounds any better behind a Southern Gospel vocal. I grew up listening to Jimmy Swaggart and Floyd Cramer on the keyboard. I would listen to them closely, then go to my piano and mimic the sound. I have been playing music in church for 43 years and have never taken a lesson. I couldn't read a sheet of music if my life depended on it, but I can play by ear just fine. It was God's gift to me many years ago and I am grateful, so grateful, to Him for His gift.

As much as I love southern Gospel, I have recently learned to enjoy some contemporary artists as well. One group in particular, Casting Crowns, has become a real favorite. I listen to them a lot and am smitten by their harmony and the strength of the message in their lyrics. I have been especially blessed by the song, "Oh, Glorious Day.". What a wonderful rendition of an old hymn this has become. I heard the older version of this song just a few weeks ago and could hardly believe the difference in the two presentations.

Regardless of the message, the lyrics of the song carry a powerful message. I have long believed in, and cherished the thought of, the day when we will see Christ face to face. To look into the eyes of the One who died for me, to hear His voice, to see the scars in His hands, to know I am finally home, to be with Him forevermore, oh, it will truly be a glorious day. All Heaven will be in celebration as those of us who have fought the good fight of faith will be welcomed home with open arms. The very thought of it brings tears to my eyes. What a day that will be!!!

The chorus of this song is particularly touching to me. I reaches me in my soul and reminds me, with each repetition of the words, just how much Jesus did for me. Allow me to share the words:

"Living, He loved me.
Dying, He saved me.
Buried, He carried my sins far away.
Rising, He justified,
Freely forever.
One day, He's coming,
Oh, glorious day.
Oh, glorious day."

I tell you, my friends, it is with great joy that I anticipate His coming. Please, do not misunderstand. God has given me a wonderful life, filled with the best of family and friends. I have everything I need and so much of what I want. God has been so good to me. But, with that being said, I know that there will, one day, come an end to life as I know it. I will either find a resting place in the grave or be alive and well at the coming of our Lord. It matters not to me how I get to see my precious Jesus, just as long as I get to see Him. It will be a glorious day---a day filled with laughter and rejoicing as those of us who have given our lives in the Lord's service, at last, reach our final destination.

Casting Crowns sings this song with much emotion and one senses that these young artists know the Jesus they are singing about. I firmly believe that they have experienced the grace and mercy of our dear Lord. Beyond their beautiful musical abilities, though, lies the fact that there will come a glorious day. This fact exists, regardless of who sings the song. One day, He's coming---I desire to be ready and waiting. As an older southern Gospel song says, "What a day, glorious day, that will be.".

In Grace,