ONE Sunday morning in church, I felt like a racehorse with an iron yoke on my shoulders. I wanted to shout to the Lord, to sing out, to cry out the words in the hymn that we were trudging through like defeated soldiers returning from a lost war, but thought better than let my voice stand out like some lone trumpeter when all the army’s fled, and so at the tired, fatigued pace, and soft whispering sound, I sang with the rest.
Singing Hymns!xstill remember the sad scene of some old British monarch being carried out of the Westminster Abbey, soldiers carrying the coffin, their arms on the casket, and their feet doing the dead march, very sad, very, very disturbing.
Walk into most churches while hymns are being sung and you’ll be wondering where the coffin is. Let us rise and sing Hymn 297 says the padre. Never have I seen church and people jumping up with joy to sing unto the Lord. Oh no, men get up, half asleep, and ladies, not all old mind you, slowly get up, some actually sighing about having so many hymns in a service.
Ah dear people! Look at those words in your hymnal: Each hymn written with a heart crying to the Lord in anguish, or a soul rejoicing, or hush, maybe grief at some doorstep, and weeping hymn writer at his or her desk, blurting words out to form automatic chord between him and beloved Master. Each hymn, some with words like firecrackers, waiting for your voice to light wick that will explode into joyous shouts of exultation to a waiting God above.
Garlands of praise, bouquets of thanksgiving! Comforting words lean out from hymnal, hug, hold you close and whisper assurances, nay shout help into your eager waiting ear. And yet, like mourners at a wake, singers of a dirge we mutter, murmur, mumble, moan, burying our face and voice in those books of hymns.
I’m told that in today’s contemporary services the voices of the congregation are heard, praising and worshipping God, that people raise their hands and shout and dance to the Lord. Hallelujah! If you can do so for the new tunes, for words of modern songwriters, then let your voices rise two fold, nay three, with those that stood like rocks during testing times of yore.
Gently pick that dusty hymnal, slowly read those words anew, dramatically watch new power from the old seep in. Let me pass your church next Sunday, hear your voices ringing, bursting forth in harmony; words laden with joy and comfort echoing from yon wooden rafters above.
‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’ Stand Up, Stand Up’ A Mighty Fortress is Our Lord’ ‘Oh For A Thousand Tongues to Sing” and hundreds more. And if ye think ye be tone deaf or canst pitch well, and yonder choir director, he frowneth at thy efforts, remember thy God above smileth all the more, knowing you yell out despite fact you never sang in some stuffy choir before, oh no, your song of tuneless praise, unmelodic love and unrhythmical rejoicing comes from the joyfulness of a David like dancing soul! Let your voices ring..!