Friday, April 8, 2011

Is it True?

      I was told recently that young Christian's aren’t interested in old church hymns. Is this true? I did turn 50 this year and that makes me a half century old, but can I really be so old that I have lived to see the end of such a rich heritage in print? Perhaps I have stepped out of modern times and am living in the past; a past that started singing from a hymnal and reluctantly moved onto an overhead screen. A past that held in its hand a book filled with the passion and praise of men and women who knew what it meant to lose every earthly thing and yet find that their hearts still held a song of love and hope for their God. Songs that were born out of sanctified lives. Lives that knew suffering and yet still wrote the words, “It is well, it is well, with my soul.” 

     Like the song that was birthed from the ashes of a slave trader’s life after God saved him and set him free from sin, “Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound!” Songs that poured out of the heart of a blind girl and spilled onto pages for generations to see, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine!”

      I enjoy listening to and singing contemporary Christian music, but have you noticed how it comes and goes? The praise and worship songs we sing in church today will be obsolete in a year or two. Why is that? Our God does not change. He is the same today as He has always been and will always be. I think it is great that we have new expressions of praise and worship in our churches. I just pray that we do not give up substance and depth for fads. I pray that our focus is not on the song making us feel good but that it pleases God. The angels around the throne sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” What shall we sing?

      We live in a society that is not happy for long with anything. We move from one thing to another almost as quickly as changing the channel on TV. We are used to things not lasting. Yet some things do last forever. Things like God’s promises, His character, His Truth, and His love. These are the things songs are made of. Not because it is popular, but because it is true.

      This is why I love the old hymns. Because they have been tried and tested over time. Their words sing out a melody that shouts “Amen” to the word of God. I will sing the new songs with the congregation on Sunday and praise God in the sanctuary as the band lifts up its new tunes, but in my heart I will continue to hold tightly to those songs that stood the test of time and sing out from the past, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” and “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” In my own way I will be standing with that wretch that was saved and that blind girl who had the eyes of her heart opened by the love of God, and the echo of their songs will continue through the corridors of time as I join them in singing, “This is my story, this is my song, praising my savior all the day long!”

Martin Luther (1483-1546) A Mighty Fortress is our God
John Newton (1725-1807) Amazing Grace
Fanny Jane Crosby (1820-1915) Blessed Assurance, To God Be the Glory
Horatio Gates Spafford (1828-1888) It is Well with My Soul


  1. Beautiful and so true! I am 40 and I see the same thing you do. My daughter is 19 and some times helps on the praise team a church. She prefers the Old Hymns over the contemporary music. This makes my heart glad! We must keep the old ones alive in those that we can influence. As my grandmother did me, I will my grandchildren some day.

  2. I'm with you, I cherish the old hymns. Songs I have sang throughout the day during the raising of my children. My 21 year old has a favorite tape he listens to and yes, it is what he grew up with - the hymns. thank you for sharing.

  3. I loved looking at both your blogs, but decided to leave my comment on this one because of your verse Esther 4:14 at the top of your blog. That's one of my favorite verses, I guess partly because of my name. Thanks for your comments on "The Spit of God" which I was a bit hesitant to post!

  4. I love the hymns and the stories behind them. Think how many people they have encouraged over the centuries!

  5. Interesting observations, Charlotte. My daughter is 50 and my son is 48. They both still love the old hymns they grew up with. I have noticed that the contemporary songs come for a year or two and then they're gone. Maybe we sing them so much we get tired of them. I agree with you about our society. Like you I love the story behind some of the old hymns. At our church we sing both hymns and contemporary songs. A lot of times the hymns are jazzed up a bit to make them more contemporary. I think we should sing them as they were written.
    Have a great Sunday.

  6. I attend a church with screens and mostly contemporary music (I'm 52). I was so moved a few weeks ago when some one spontaneously started singing one of the old hymns during the offering, and one by one, people joined in with those beautifu old words filling our contemporary gym/sanctuary. I love that they have stood the test of time too.

  7. I really liked reading your post. Things do change all the time and holding onto some things means so much. I'm glad He never changes...Hope your Sonday is the best.

  8. Hi Charlotte; thank you for visiting my post about my dog Keeper. Yes, we found him but unfortunately he had been injured and I had to have him put down. Was a hard decision but it had to be done. Thank you for your prayers.

  9. I,too, love the hymns of the church. "From every stormy wind that blows," "And can it be that I should gain, an interest in the Savior's love," "Oh love that will not let me go.." So many of these hymns have helped me through hard places, gave words to my heart's thankfulness in joyful times, and learn more about my God. I loved this post.

    Praising Him,


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