Friday, October 9, 2015

'Tis So Sweet

 Linking with both Five Minute Friday and the Write31Challenge today. 

Day 9-Trust

This word. Here we are, back in seemingly deep waters.

Do you know the words to any hymns? Does your church still sing hymns in any of the services they offer? Sometimes it makes me feel old to talk about hymns. I'm not sure hymns are appreciated in the digital age. In a world filled with in-your-face messaging and ever evolving technology, hymns are mostly seen as passe, old-fashioned, boring even. I bet someone out there just yawned.

A great song is of course about the melody, but for me it's mostly about the words. Hymns are full of poetry. They tell stories. They encourage. They lay out for us, in the beautiful turn of a phrase, the enormity of God's love for us and the glory of creation. They urge us to keep pressing on when times are hard. They remind us of the path that leads to contentment. They assure us of the hope and confidence and trust we can place in the promises we've been given.

When I was growing up our church had a hymn night every once in a while. Even writing that I kind of cringe because Whaaaat? A hymn night? Sounds so 1920's. It was actually 1970 something, and it was one of my favorite things. Hymn sings happened maybe once a month or once a quarter. In 1970 we didn't have the all-day every-day mentality we have now, and I think the infrequent timing helped make it feel more special.

They were always on a Sunday evening and the atmosphere felt very casual, which was not at all how church felt on Sunday mornings. The pianist would call out from behind the little half wall where the piano sat, and ask what we wanted to sing. Shockingly (to my ten year old self) people in the congregation would just shout out a pager number. In church. They just called it right out.

In 1970 something churches felt a bit different than they do today.

Anyway, somebody would shout out #124! and everyone would flip through their hymnal, an actual book, to see what we were going to sing. And then we sang. We filled up that space with words and music. No lyrics on a screen, no hand held phones to google top ten most requested hymns of 1972, just books in the back of a pew and everyone singing along.

I love the music of today, and I'm not knocking words on a screen or technology in church. It's 2015 and time marches on. What I'm struck by though, is the way a one-word prompt can spark a memory. I saw that word 'trust' and my mind flashed right back to sitting in 'our pew',  my mom and dad beside me, singing along with people we loved who felt so much like family...'Trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey...'

Do you have a favorite old hymn? I'd love for you to leave it in the comments today.


  1. I was not raised in the church (though I was raised in the 70s!) - and our church now doesn't do many hymns - unless we have changed it up a bit. But my husbands' upbringing was full of hymns and they tell the gospel so clearly! I think it's funny that now they are so 'outdated' but in their current time, they were controversial because many of them were set to bar songs and such! It makes me wonder what songs in our current time may be looked at as 'hymns' in the future! Great post! We are neighbors today over at Kate's place!

  2. Here I Am Lord.....not that old, but I love the song. It was played at my mother's funeral.

  3. We still do hymns at our church. We are mostly an older congregation and that is what we all love. However, I love the new style music too. But I think hymns will always be a favorite.

    Two of my favorites are "It Is Well" and Great Is Thy Faithfulness."

  4. LOVE this....Trust and Obey is truly one of my all time favorites. How great thou Art is another and of course there is always Amazing Grace. Love them all. I am hearing them in my head now....hope it lasts all day!

  5. I have been in church services (as a child) where it was just as you described. "Great is Thy Faithfulness".

  6. We still sing hymns at our church. I love "Trust and Obey". Another favorite is "Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus". I think my favorite one to sing in church is "And Can It Be". I cry while singing that one because the awesomeness of God's love overwhelms me!

  7. Trust and Obey has become a rule for me when I'm concerned/worrying about something. My goal is to trust God for His part and obey God for my part and not mix those two up. Some other favorites are His Eye Is on the Sparrow and Day by Day.

  8. We still sing hymns and we follow them in a hymnal. No screens or fancy technology for us. (Sometimes the microphones don't even work!) Lots of favourites but Here I am Lord especially,


  9. The church I grew up in had awesome music, many, many hymns!
    We sing a lot of hymns at Bible Study Fellowship, some I had never even heard before. I like Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, The Old Rugged Cross, Great is Thy Faithfulness, It is Well With My Soul, Be Thou My Vision, Just as I Am.
    Ok, I will stop.

  10. I always enjoyed hymn night at church, as well. I just haven't been able to 'get into' the contemporary, words on the wall kind of music...
    It Is Well With My Soul, The Old Rugged Cross, Precious Memories, He Lives, Standing On The Promises, and Are You Washed are among my favorites.