A Moment To Praise 4.6.20

Happy Holy Week Everyone!
Joyce Lochinger

Joyce Lochinger, Gravel Hill Worship Leader

As Easter approaches, I feel a sense of joy. I love this time of year for so many reasons! The weather, flowers, and trees are beautiful and make me smile.  Most importantly, I love what Easter means to me as a person of faith! Like a lot of you that I talk to, I also love the music of Easter! The triumphant songs lift our spirits so high and give us a clear sense of the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection!

Way back in 1997, I began my journey as a worship leader in Linglestown, PA. Both of my parents loved music, and had always encouraged me in my musical endeavors throughout life, so it was only natural for me to want them to be present for a service where I was leading. I was so excited for the day they visited for worship and could see and hear the more contemporary praise songs that we were singing. And on top of it all, it was Easter Sunday!

The Good Old Days

All of my life, I grew up with very traditional music in church, and that was still the style of church that my parents attended. Traditional hymns, an organ, and a choir, all things that I still love very much myself even to this day! That being said, attending a contemporary worship service was a bit of a change (to say the least) for my parents, no less attending that service on Easter! But, always being the supportive and loving parents that they were, they clapped, they sang, and they experienced a new way to worship. Most importantly they actually enjoyed it!  After that Easter celebration, we all went home and enjoyed the usual Easter traditions; a hearty meal, an Easter egg hunt, too much candy from Jenna and Shay’s Easter baskets and early baths and bedtimes for our girls.

As we adults were cleaning up the holiday untidiness of the house, I asked my parents what they truly thought of worship that day.  Both responded with the usual parental platitudes; they were proud of the job I had done, thankful that their money for piano lessons had paid off and so on. However, more importantly to me, they said that there was a true spirit of worship and celebration in the building that day that made it all even more meaningful than they had expected! This made me smile and feel a touch of pride for changing the very traditional mindset of my father to a more contemporary one! My ego was soon deflated as my dad with his usual sense of comedic timing exclaimed…”next time I come though, would you please just do plain old Amazing Grace? ‘Cause I know all of the words to that one!”

A Moment To Praise 4.6.20 in Song

Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone


The lyrics to this week’s song speak to me just as (plain old) Amazing Grace spoke to my dad. I myself know and love all the words to this one: “My chains are gone…” (my past is forgiven) – “I’ve been set free…” (sin no longer has a hold on me) – “My God, my Savior…” (Jesus Christ the Lord) – “Has ransomed me…” (He paid the painful price of crucifixion on the cross specifically for me)!

These are such descriptive and powerful words. I always want to remember and hold in my heart the knowledge and understanding of the sacrifice that Jesus made for me and for all of us, not just this Easter, but every day of my life!

A Moment To Praise 4.6.20 in Scripture


My prayer for you is that you would go through this Holy Week knowing that without a doubt, 100%, that Christ was thinking of you as he suffered on the cross. Know that you have been made whole no matter what you have done in the past, you are forgiven and made clean. You have been ransomed by God’s love.

My precious dad left our family almost 18 years ago now and went on to be with the Lord. I’m sure he’s tapping his toes and singing in the heavenly realms. I am also sure that if they have an all request time, he asks for (plain old) Amazing Grace: “cause I know all of the words to that one!”

Happy and Blessed Easter everyone, from our house to yours.