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Missing the old hymns?

You can always tell when a meme hits a nerve because the comments explode.  About a month or so ago I shared one about missing old hymns in church.  The comments came in fast and swift.  And let me tell you.  Every single comment was of the same opinion.

People miss the old hymns. 

I honestly adore our church.  Seriously. Adore. It.

I almost can’t express how blessed I feel that we found our new church home about a year ago.  My soul has opened up to such a real and vibrant message for my life and I’m incredibly grateful for the guidance of our pastors and worship leaders.  The Word, specifically His calling for me, has been magnified by the inspiration, instruction, and direction our church has gifted me. 

And contemporary praise and worship music has been part of that process. These were songs I hadn’t been introduced to before and they spoke to me on an incredibly deep level.  More often than not my Sirius radio is tuned to The Message and I’m “gettin’ my Jesus on” during the drive to and from work.

Still, my hubby misses the old hymns and I can’t help wonder why churches like ours aren’t playing them more often.  It’s been said that the new praise music is more in tune with the youth and the church as a body is invested in attracting and keeping young people engaged.  I can’t complain about that.

A few weeks ago my hubby sent me a Facebook message with a link to a video of Joey + Rory singing “The Old Rugged Cross.”  As I sat at my desk and heard that song, my eyes welled up with emotion.  How could they not with something so universally profound?  Something at the center of our lives as Christians?

“I’ll cherish the old rugged cross
Till my trophies at last I lay down
I will cling to the old rugged cross
And exchange it some day for a crown”

And I realized then that I too miss the old hymns.  Yes, we can listen to them at home on our computers or wherever, but there’s a reason we begin church worship with music.  There’s a reason the bible contains an entire book of psalms.  Song opens our hearts to receive the word of the Lord.  It plays a vital role in making worship impactful for us.

If contemporary praise and worship is important for our youth, what about our older churchgoers?  Just because they’re aged and experienced, does it mean they don’t need something to speak to their souls too? We all, young or old, new Christian or experienced, confront moments when our faith is tested, our hearts broken. How can a truly vibrant church continue to nurture its youth if the “wise men and women” of the church aren’t also getting fed to the fullest?

And too, is there some benefit to all of us in hearing those old standards? When in class our students learn classic literature and poetry and (hopefully) develop an appreciation for the unique heritage of writers and artists in history.  Should our churches also touch base with the faithful classic hymn?

An article in Ministry Magazine states:

“The great hymns keep us in touch with our Christian heritage. A Mighty Fortress” takes us back to the Reformation and allows us to hear the words of Martin Luther. “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” exposes us to the music of Beethoven and lets us revel in the melodic mastery of one of the great composers of church history. The hymns of Charles Wesley immerse us in the spirit of the Wesleyan revival. […] Without the great hymns we would lose touch with our past.”

https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/1996/09/ten-reasons-we-need-those-great-hymns

“Reckless Love” is a powerful praise and worship song that moves me to raise my hands and sing every time I hear it.  But there are moments when even that can’t hold a candle to the perfect greatness of the song “How Great Thou Art.” 

This might seem like a complaining sort of post, but mainly it’s more of a plea. A plea for all of us to remember those hymns, to reach out to them from time to time, to teach them to our children, and to all raise our voices for those simple and transcendent tunes.

Dear Father God, Thank You for inspiring us with all forms of musical worship. May we glorify You always with our voices lifted up. May we touch our past with the old songs and nurture our souls with new worship all for Your greater good. In your name, Amen


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By oliviahardinwriter

When Olivia Hardin started having movie-like dreams in her teens, she had no choice but to begin putting them to paper. Before long, the writing bug had bitten her, and she knew she wanted to be a published author. Several rejections plus a little bit of life later, she was temporarily “cured” of the urge to write. That is, until she met a group of talented and fabulous writers who gave her the direction and encouragement she needed to get lost in the words again. Olivia has attended three different universities over the years and toyed with majors in Computer Technology, English, History and Geology. Then one day she heard the term “road scholar,”' and she knew that was what she wanted to be. Now she “studies” anything and everything just for the joy of learning. She's also an insatiable crafter who only completes about 1 out of 5 projects, a jogger who hates to run, and she’s sometimes accused of being artistic. A native Texas girl, Olivia lives in the beautiful Lone Star state with her husband, Danny, their corgi Bonnie Sue, and their new rescue Heidi Ho.

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