John came home this evening with a little more "schwag" for me. Apparently, it's not swag, but rather schwag, and I've been mispronouncing it all this time and therefore misleading some of you. Sorry about that. Anyway, his boss collected some cds at the ICRS last week which I am now the proud owner of. The one I've been listening to all evening is WOW Hymns. It's a combination of modern and classic hymns from today's top artists, and it is phenomenal.
I was eating dinner back in February with John and his boss, and we were having some sort of discussion about hymns and modern worship songs, and I made some flippant comment that I could live without hymns because they aren't really all that sacred to me. It's true that I prefer modern worship, but I really need to think before I speak so carelessly from now on, because I haven't been able to stop crying as I've listened to the words of these hymns tonight. The lyrics are timeless, and moving, and extremely sacred. Not sure what in the world I was thinking when those words fell from my lips earlier this year.
These are my five most favorite hymns...ones I never get tired of hearing:
1. Be Thou My Vision
2. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
3. Like A River Glorious
4. It Is Well With My Soul
5. My Jesus, I Love Thee
It's so hard to stop at just five because I love so many of them, but these are truly my absolute favorites.
As I was listening to this cd tonight, I was unprepared for the flood of memories attached to some of the hymns that are most familiar to me. I can still see Mrs. Grace Hall, a dear old saint, grinning from ear to ear every time we would sing "Grace, Grace, God's Grace" ("Grace That is Greater"). I always wondered if she was smiling so big because she knew that she was Grace and that she was God's and that song was like a little love note from Him. I can also see a little 7-year-old girl named Shelby, whose hand would shoot straight up in the air asking to sing "How Great Thou Art" every single Sunday, then singing her little 7-year-old heart out. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Or when the widow of a prominent man stood up at his funeral when the organist started playing "Victory in Jesus", and the entire room stood with her, weeping, and singing, and knowing that much-loved man was with Jesus at that very moment. Or when Richard Hughes, our music minister, would make us all lift onto our tiptoes every time we sang the word lifted in "Love Lifted Me". I can't sing that song today without thinking of him and "lifting". Oh, I just have too many memories to list!
Maybe I thought I could live without hymns, but I'm very sure that I was wrong. Hymns are so much a part of who I am today.
What about you, friends? Do you have a favorite? Or two...or five?