Monday, April 16, 2012

Hymn of the Month -- Hymnsing

For many of our growing up years we were without television. So the Sunday afternoons that we spent with our grandparents meant not only a chance to see Grandma and Grandad, eat Grandma's date pinwheel cookies and choose a game to play from their special game drawer, it also meant we could watch Bonanza! At 5:30 we kids would be gathered around the tv, in the middle of an adventure-filled episode, when Grandma would come into the room and switch to the Canadian station for their regular Sunday afternoon program, Hymnsing. For the next 30 minutes a group of young adults, dressed in coordinating outfits, would wander through gardens, stand by the shore, or find their places on a sound stage, singing hymns as choral arrangements or smaller groupings. The songs they sang were songs I loved -- except for that 30 minutes when I was wondering what was happening back on Bonanza!

Have you ever been to a hymnsing? It's been a long time since I have, but at the last one they gave us a chance at the beginning to call out the numbers of the hymns we wanted to sing. Those few minutes created the agenda for the next hour. Then, one by one, the congregation would turn to the songs in our hymnals and would belt out some of the most powerful songs ever written. It wasn't necessarily the tunes that made the songs so powerful, nor the musicians at the instruments, and it certainly wasn't because of the singers. But the words of those hymns told the story of God and humanity, of our sin and His mercy, of our brokenness and His healing, of His greatness and our praise.

I usually select one hymn at a time in my Hymn of the Month but I found this video that reminds us why we sing hymns. It features Bob Kauflin, whose videos I've shown here from time to time, explaining why they chose hymns for the style of music at the Together For the Gospel (T4G) conferencse, where thousands of pastors gather to affirm that, whether or not they agreed on every point of theology, they stand together on the main thing: the gospel.

I hope the emphasis that I place each month on hymns strengthens you as you listen to the truth they present; I hope it challenges you to a deeper walk with Christ; I hope it makes you hungry for more of God. If you just see hymns as music for a different time (thus, irrelevant), I encourage you to give yourself permission to rock your world through hymns.

CD available here or here

1 comment:

Joan Husby said...

Oh how inspiring, our heritage of hymns.