I grew up Independent Fundamental Baptist. If you are unfamiliar with what that means, the short of it entails watch-night services on New Years Eve, fabulous pot-luck dinners and hymns. Lots of them. We would stand and sing verses 1,2 and 4. If we were feeling really zany we would throw in verse 3 instead of verse 2. We sang “Victory in Jesus” when someone would get baptized. On the weekend of July 4th, we would sing “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “My Country Tis of Thee”.
I loved growing up with those songs. I loved being in choir. I even attempted to play the piano for the church when the usual accompanist was out of town. I do miss hymns, more often than sometimes.
I thoroughly enjoy the praise music today. I love Slacker Radio because I can listen to Hillsong and artists like them. I was almost brought to tears when my 9 year old started singing “bless the Lord O my soul, worship His holy name” with me this morning. God did not stop inspiring musicians with Fannie Crosby.
I do believe we are missing out on huge blessings by discarding the old hymnal completely. (Side note: Don’t even get me started on how the congregations are now not even seeing the music they are singing. “When the notes go up, your voice does” is gone with the wind.)
Take the lyrics to “Holy Holy Holy” (verse 2, of course)
Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee, Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee, Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.
I was reflecting on those words this morning and so many things went through my mind. That is a picture of my future. I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to God the Father. I believe Jesus Christ is God and is alive. I also believe He loves me and you. Even though I am a blob of disgustingness without His forgiveness, He loves me. And when it is all said and done, He isn’t going to care whether I ate a chicken sandwich (which I will not because I don’t eat meat) or drank a glass of wine with my dinner. He is going to care that I love Him with all my heart, soul and mind and that I love my neighbor like I love Him.
Yes, we as followers of Jesus must stand up for Him. Let us do it in love. I can disagree with my loved ones and people I do not know. I cannot spit venom at them. My job is to love. Be the hands and feet of my Savior. The one that loves me even though I am a poor representation of His love more often than not.
And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore
Bless the Lord Oh my soul
Oh my soul worship His holy name
Sing like never before Oh my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name
10,000 Reasons – Matt Redman