This morning in church the worship band started off with two songs I hadn't heard before. While I totally understand we haven't been going to this church very long so they have the right to sing whatever they please, it is harder to get into worship when a song is new. Just like jamming to the radio in the car, when a new song comes on I often change the channel. I want to hear something I know, something easy, something I can just sit back and relax to and not think to hard about. The 3rd song; I had heard before, so I was appreciative for that. Then they sang an old hymn. This day in age many churches have gone away from hymns. I'm not totally sure why. As I understand, it's the new hip thing to read music off a large screen in front of the church, you could still put a hymn up in front of the church. But I digress . . . so we began singing an all time favorite of many church goers . . . Amazing Grace. Amazing Grace was written by John Newton in the late 1700s. We have sung it for hundreds of years, so why all of a sudden in the last 10-20 years are hymns now so uncool. Again I digress . . .
As we began to sing, it took me back to the good ol' days. Back when I was a child, elementary school aged, I would spend every Saturday night with my grandma. At the time she lived in Oak Tree Square which was located directly north of her church, First Baptist Church of Grandview. Sunday morning we would get up out of her huge king sized bed. (She and my grandpa slept in different rooms, so it would be just the two of us in that big bed.) Then we would brush our teeth, do a quick sponge bath and get dressed. I would eat Rice Krispies with with sugar sprinkled on top while my grandma and my grandpa would split a grapefruit. Then we get in her big red car, it had leather seats and looked just like the car from King of Queens parked in front of Doug's work.
Now we could have walked to church, it was so close, but... there were no side walks between her apartment and church and we were all dressed up. So we drove 1 block and parked in the parking lot across the street from the church. It was a small retail parking lot with a grocery store.
We would get out of her big red car, walk across the small street to the church and walk up the steps to the side door. There, we would be greeted by the jolliest of men, Bob Wallace. He was an older gentlemen (at least to me at the time) and had a southern accent and would always give you a compliment with a good morning hello. "Well hello young lady!" Made you feel loved, seen and welcome. He was such a sweet man.
Then we would walk into the sanctuary and sit on the 3rd or 4th pew (I can't remember now exactly, but it was always the same spot). We would look in the bulletin to see which hymns we would sing and get our books marked so once the choir began we could find it quickly.
Those were the good ol' days. Where I remember the sun shining bright on Sundays and remember being in the shadows of my very confident, out going grandmother on Sunday mornings, who would belt out each verse like no one was watching.
Whenever I hear the song Amazing Grace or How Great Thou Art it takes me back to the simple days when church music simply included a choir, a piano, an organ and hymnals. Those sweet hymns definitely make me emotional with the loving thoughts of the good ol' days with my grandmother whenever I hear or sing them. Days I can never get back, but thankful that I can still remember.