The booming voice of God’s people praising Him always leaves my heart beating fast. These same voices often leave me anxious over lunch as they each chirp and chatter at different times, but when they are all united as one… It’s something different. It’s something powerful.
There has been discussion recently about whether or not hymns are worth singing, and even if they’re detrimental to sing, and previously I would have erred on the latter side. Now I find myself on the other side of this fence. And the booming voice of God’s people singing is why.
These are words that are tried, tested and true. These words speak richly of God’s character and actions throughout history. Consider, How Great Thou Art. Consider these words:
And when I think,
That God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die,
I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross,
My burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died
To take away my sin.
They speak of rich history, they speak of deep theology, and the tone in which they are sung is full of what can only be described as gusto. They have been sung for generations, and they will endure for a long time to come. Yes, the music does not match that of today’s culture, but I don’t come to church to sing the music of the time, I come to church to join with my brothers and sisters in adoring God – and man, oh man, are those words full of adoration!
This morning at college chapel we sang Take My Life. How I wish my prayers were as God centred as the words of that hymn. How I wish I began each day with my heartbeat pounding out such a prayer. How I wish that we could sing such words together more often, not just as an individual prayer, but as a prayer for the collective people of God. Consider them:
Take my silver and my gold
Not a mite would I withhold
Take my intellect and use
Every power as You will choose
Take my will, and make it thine
It shall be no longer mine
Take my heart, it is thine own
It shall be Thy royal throne
Rich words sung to the God of the ages. Sincere prayers that all that is ours would be his. There is a lot to be said for cultural relevance, to be sure, but in the gathering of God’s people I am convinced that we should keep singing these songs that have endured for so long. Not exclusively these, to be sure, but we should indeed sing them, because through them we can join in the songs of our brothers and sisters from generations past, and all over the world.
The booming voice of God’s people singing to their Saviour is a beautiful thing. I am especially blown away and blessed by hymns; their rich words, deep tones, and enduring qualities.
But that’s just me. What do you think?