Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hymns for Lent

In my post about observing Lent with children I mentioned that one practice I am being more intentional about during Lent is singing hymns.  

A few weeks ago the topic of the adult sunday school class at church was on hymns, and we were asked to each share a favorite hymn and why it is meaningful, and then we enjoyed an old-fashioned a cappella hymn sing.  It was one of the most uplifting times I have experienced recently.  Hymns that I'd not heard in years came back to me, and I felt again the power of God through the rich poetry of old familiar hymns.

The sermon message later was on the importance of the arts and music in worship.  The speaker described the way that people experience God, some through intuition and some through reason, and that typically, those who rely more on intuition tend to experience God more easily than they who rely on reason.  The speaker referred to an article (that I wish I could find) saying that one way more rational people can practice the presence of God is through music.  

I missed most of the message because I was with the kids, but Jim told me about it later and it made so much sense, especially after my morning experience in the presence of God through the beauty of hymns.  

This is why I am re-learning hymns for myself, and teaching them to my kids.  There is power and beauty in the hymns of our faith, and who knows how one day they may bring comfort, remembrance, hope, even faith, to our children.

What is your favorite hymn?

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Words: Dallan Forgail (8th Century)

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

This post really resonated with me Jess. I'm not sure I could pick a favorite, but I definitely agree that there is power and beauty in hymns. And absolutely the hymns that I learned as a child continue to do in my life all the things you said... bring comfort, remembrance, hope and faith. Sometimes I'm surprised by how quickly a hymn comes to mind with just the words that I needed to hear in that moment. God uses them to encourage me over and over again.