Monday, February 01, 2010

Why I Love Hymns

I love hymns because they encapsulate sound doctrine.
Anyone who carries a repertoire of hymns in the heart will not need a raft of dry theology
books on the shelf.

I love hymns because they are timeless.
~My Grandmother loved them and played them on her piano.
~My Father loved them and sang them in his clear tenor voice.
~I played them on a great swelling organ.
~My daughter collects hymn books and creates fresh arrangements for the guitar.

I love hymns for their ability to comfort.
~At the hour of departure (do read Carol's post "Music to Accompany a Dying Soul").
~At funerals
~When grieving: My husband lost his brother last May. During our road trip following the
funeral, we sang hymns a capella for a full 2 hours. Our hearts were quieted and consoled.

I love hymns because they are strength to the weary.
Like the pilgrim who finds it within his means to walk a few extra miles if he whistles along the
way, hymns can lighten the workload. While cleaning house or washing the dishes, a hymn
can be a vehicle to transport the mind to higher places while my hands remain in dishwater.

I love hymns because of their proclamation value.
Telling forth is a tenet of my Christian faith. Hymns give my voice the means by which I can
boldly proclaim truth. Timidity is swept aside as my mouth declares the praises of the One
who was, and is, and is to come.

I love hymns because they unite me with the Body of Christ.
To hear a hymn rising from strong voices united as one gives an intrinsic pleasure: I belong to
this family. "That we might with one mouth glorify God." Romans 15: 6

I love hymns because the God who created me "joys over me with singing." Zephaniah 3:17
Only a hardened heart could fail to respond in like fashion. A singing heart is evidence of the
indwelling Holy Spirit, and the one so filled will pour forth with "songs, hymns, and spiritual
songs." This is our heritage. This is our gift.

What are your favorite hymns?


Carol in Oregon said...

I love, love, love this post. We just went through a lurching, tumbling, frightful scare with a dear one in our lives. During that time between seeing a mass on a scan to surgery, it was hymns that helped me keep the right focus.

I'm printing this one out.

Thank you.

Cheryl said...

You have so eloquently put into words much of what I feel about hymns. I linked to your post on my own blog...
Thanks for sharing!

Abe said...

My current favorite, "I Must Tell Jesus". I heard this only a couple years ago, and I'm just crazy about it. It's in my head all the time. It's a great reminder. I Must tell Jesus!

Do you know this one? (I don't know how common it is.)


Poiema said...

Kathryn--Yes, actually I sang that one a lot during my growing up years. It has a very personal feel to it. It doesn't seem to be sung much anymore, but now that you've mentioned it I've been humming it! Nice to hear from you. Are you guys doing OK?

Poiema said...

To my friend--I'm not trying to be unkind, but I can not read Japanese.

robert said...

Marvelous blog! You have listed some excellent reasons why churches that abandon the hymn book and sing only contemporary songs are impoverishing their people! There is a spiritual treasury in our traditional hymns and gospel songs that must not be lost.

And let me add one more point to the ones you have...

I love hymns because of their spiritual authenticity. The good ones grew out of the author's personal walk with the Lord, and they ring true because of that.

May I encourage you, if you're not already a visitor, to drop in at my daily blog on hymn history, Wordwise Hymns. I believe you'll find it a blessing.