God’s Word for Today: Hymn. Man, was I not ready for this word. When God said, “We will discuss hymns today”, I really had some reservations. Although, I should have seen it coming. One of my favorite hymns came out of nowhere the other evening and kept repeating itself in my head. I know you can relate to having a song stuck in your head. One that keeps going round and round. Sometimes it is pretty cool. Other times, rather embarrassing as you are caught singing a little ditty from nowhere. Some people just don’t understand. For them, I am sorry. For the little song stuck in my head, let’s rock and roll!
One of the glorious parts of being a foreigner in a different country is the fact that one can be strange or “a little off” and people will simply blame it on you being from another country with different traditions and beliefs. Add a language barrier in the mix, and a person has a good excuse for almost any strange behavior. Not bad behavior, or wrong behavior, mind you. Just a little off, or rather strange, is accepted. Thus, as this one hymn was on continual repeat through my inner most thoughts, I was able to go ahead and verbalize the words I could remember.
Now picture this. Here is this American dude attempting to sing a tune in a language that very few can understand. Add the fact that my singing abilities are quite limited (thanks Dad) and almost always ½ note off key, if not fully monotone, and some strange looks started coming my way. Quickly though, the strange American was written off as just that, strange. Life continued on.
So did the hymn in my head. I thought about writing it down, but by that time, I had shut down for the night, (all but that song) and I didn’t want to go thru the rigors of finding a writing utensil, paper, and the light switch. So, the hymn stayed in my head and was quite lively still the next morning. I am sure glad it was a favorite hymn and not some irritating song like the usual, “Aye yei ya yei, for I am the Frito bandito”. Don’t ask me why that one pops up every now and again. They don’t even have Fritos in Paraguay. Not that I have found. Now, I am hungry
1Corinthians 14:26. What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.
I was very, very blessed as a child to be brought up in a church going family. I was also blessed to experience the singing of hymns. It was amazing in our church, when a popular hymn was sung just how loud and glorious the congregation was. Then, there was always the “let’s try a new hymn”. Not so loud, not so glorious.
I sometimes fear that the good ole hymns are going to be forgotten. Some church’s still stick to hymnals. Others, half hymns, half songs of praise. And other church’s, especially the mega type churches, are all songs of praise. I hope the next generation can still learn and appreciate the great hymns of our dying times.
Hymns like “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”, yes, this is the hymn that was stuck in auto play in my head. Can you recall how it goes? Or, those from childhood Sunday school: What a Friend We Have in Jesus, B.I.B.L.E., and This Little Light of Mine.
Than, more of the classics: Holy, Holy, Holy, (was Hymn #1 in our hymnal at church when I was growing up), Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, At the Cross, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Blessed Assurance, Great is Thy Faithfulness, It Is Well, and How Great Thou Art. Hopefully as you read through these, you have a least ran each tune in your head. Good stuff right there.
Today, know that sometimes, we just need to sing. Not want to sing, “need” to sing. Pull out some of those hymns that are tucked back into the inner storage box of your brain and enjoy. Just like Christmas carols all year round, hymns are a part of your life that need to be lived and shared. Oh, and I didn’t forget the most powerful hymn of them all, Amazing Grace. Still brings tears of joy to my eyes every time I hear it. I hope and pray you are inspired too……………………
Prayer: Dear God, maker of all things good. Today, I thank you for music. I thank you for those you blessed with the ability to write the perfect praises of your Grace. I thank you for those who can sing those praises more beautiful than anything else heard on this earth. Forgive me for the days I let the world take your hymns out of my heart. Refill me today with your love Lord. Give me a heart of joy that I may sing to you too. In Jesus’, who struck the beginning note of our Everlasting song, name I pray. Amen.