Have you ever had this happen? You’re singing a song — a song you’ve sung for years — and all at once a phrase stands out to you in a whole new way?
That happened to me during our daughter’s wedding.
We were singing Amazing Grace.
How many hundreds of times have I sung the rich lyrics of that hymn in my sixty years of basking in God’s amazing grace? During worship services, around campfires, in hospitals and rest homes, during weddings, at gravesides, at the kitchen sink, under blankets in a toddler’s room — recalling the amazing grace that found me, gave my blind eyes sight, taught my sinful heart to fear and then relieved those fears through the gracious gift of God’s Son.
The room was filled with music as our sons and daughters, our son- and daughters-in-law, our grandchildren, our extended family and friends, our brothers and sisters in Christ all sang with us. My daughter and her about-to-be husband stood facing each other, radiant in their love for each other and in their love for their Savior. I struggled to take it all in, longing to hold on to the moment, to savor it, to revel in its joy and its beauty. We were engulfed by the overwhelming display of God’s amazing grace in our lives.
“Father, does this have to end? Can’t we hang on to this day, this moment just a little longer?”
And then I heard us singing,
“When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise,
than when we’ve first begun.”
It made sense. This wedding day was a foretaste — a glimpse into eternity. This song would end, that first sweet kiss would be shared, and we would go on to share an evening of joy, filled with food and music and dancing and playing. But no matter how hard we tried to hold onto it or slow it down, the day would end — swallowed up by time, just like thousands of other precious memories in our lives.
But someday it will be different. When we celebrate the marriage feast of the Lamb — that feast that all our earthly moments of joy have been pointing to, when Christ takes His Bride, the Church — we won’t have to stop. It won’t end. After 10,000 years of joyful praise and celebration, we won’t have any less time to sing His praises. The joy will go on and on and on — forever.
(And we won’t have to clean up 🙂 .)