Umbuntu Bg Imana

Many thanks to our pastor Chuck Jacob for pointing me to a little book by Sinclair Ferguson, which is loosely structured around a 7-stanza hymn entitled "How the Grace of God Amazes Me".

It just so happens that this hymn was translated about 60 years ago by a Rwandan missionary.  It was written in Kirundi by a Burundian pastor named Emmanuel T. Sibomana, and it's original title is "Umbuntu Bg Imana" or "The Grace of God".

The fact that we will later be learning Kirundi scares me a bit when I see a little word like "Bg".  It's also lovely for us to hear such an expression of grace from the heart of a Burundian, and hopefully we can find people who already know this hymn when we get to Burundi.  I was quite taken with the meter structure and, since I don't know the music, I set it to a little tune.  I'm putting it here for you to enjoy.  (My recording gear is on a big red box packed for Burundi, so this was done on my phone in a veritable "Wow-modern-technology-but-this-has-terrible-quality!" moment.)

May God's grace amaze you as you head into the advent season.  As the book says, if you aren't being amazed, then you're not experiencing grace.  It's just that incredible.

(click the play button to listen)

O how the grace of God amazes me
It loosed me from my bonds and set me free
What made it happen so?
His own will, this much I know,
Set me, as now I show
At liberty.

My God has chosen me, though one of nought,
to sit beside my King in heaven's court.
Hear what my Lord has done
O, the love that made him run
to meet his erring son!
This God has wrought.

Not for my righteousness, for I have none.
But for his mercy's sake, Jesus, God's Son,
suffered on Calvary's tree-
Crucified with thieves was he-
Great was his grace to me,
His wayward one.

And when I think of how, at Calvary,
He bore sin's penalty instead of me.
Amazed, I wonder why
He, the sinless One, should die
For one so vile as I;
My Saviour he!

Now all my heart's desire is to abide
In him, my Saviour dear, in him to hide.
My shield and buckler he
Covering and protecting me;
From Satan's darts I'll be
safe at his side

Lord Jesus, hear my prayer, your grace impart;
When evil thoughts arise through Satan's art,
O, drive them all away
And do you, from day to day,
keep me beneath your sway,
King of my heart.

Come now, the whole of me, eyes, ears, and voice
Join me, creation all with joyful noise:
Praise him who broke the chain
Holding me in sin's domain
And set me free again
Sing and rejoice...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was beautiful and meaningful to listen to. I'd love to hear your recording of it in Kirindi in a couple years!

--Karen Acker (friend of Faders)