I have a series posted on this blog that I called “Hymn History”, sharing with all of you the amazing stories behind the hymns we sing. It is the series I have enjoyed writing the most.
See, I have this passion for music, and an undying devotion to the old hymns of our faith. For years I have filled notebooks with the history of the hymns we sing, and worked on memorizing them. This is one way God has used to teach me of Him, through melody and poetry set to music. He has brought snippets of hymns to mind when I have need them most — “When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie / My grace, all sufficient shall be thy supply / The flame will not hurt thee, I only design / Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine” was a constant companion when my mother had brain surgery and my baby sister was in the hospital for so many months. “This is my Father’s world / O let me ne’er forget / That though the wrong seems oft so strong / God is the ruler yet” was an immense comfort as we mourned the loss of a dear family’s father. When the tornadoes ripped through the valley in 2011, the song of many families hearts was a newer one that we often had sung together: “Jesus guide me through the tempest / Keep my spirit stayed and sure / and when the midnight meets the morning / let me love You even more / May this journey bring a blessing / May I rise on wings of faith / and at the end of my hearts testing / With Your likeness let me wake.” My desire is that we can all experience this blessing of memorizing hymns, experience the comfort of them during hard times, and come to a deeper understanding of our Lord through them.
So I am going to start something new: I am going to be studying each hymn in-depth for three weeks, and teaching it to my siblings and the children at our church. And I would like to invite you to come along side of me. These lessons can easily be incorporated into family worship or lesson time. Prayerfully, everyone will learn through these short lessons what surrounded the creation of each hymn, giving everyone a deeper understanding of the preciousness of the sacred poetry. So often I have heard that the old hymns are outdated, or too hard to understand or memorize, and I want to change that. They are precious, and often they are the result of some trial that the writer was taught through. These lessons will be suitable for children and young adults of all ages — I will be sharing them with my family which ranges from age 19 to 1.5 years. They are easily taught by parents, or older siblings…..or simply can be used as a Bible study of sorts.
By the end of the three weeks, everyone should have the hymn memorized, and should be able to sing it to bless all who hear and glorify our Father which is in Heaven. The goal is to ignite a passion in all of you that will burn with a fervor.
I am wanting my family to sing the old hymns because they KNOW that what they are singing is true. I want them to sing with understanding and feeling, to use the hymns as a catalyst for learning about different doctrines of the faith. I don’t want them parroting the words, or singing because their friends do — I want them to sing because they enjoy it and love it and want to share the gospel found in the hymns with others. I am praying that the studies will create a zeal in the children and excite them to share the hymns with others.
I will be posting some of each study on this blog…..but I know that many of my blogging friends also enjoy the old hymns, as evidenced by their blogs. So if you are interested in joining this study with me, here’s what you need to do:
If you are a reader who is not subscribed to the blog and you want to participate, enter your email address in the sidebar on the right.
Once you are subscribed, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know that you want to participate.
Once you have emailed me, you will be sent an email three times a week, filled with ideas and inspiration for studying each hymn. You can easily learn about each hymn by simply reading what I post on this blog, but the email will contain more information, more lessons not posted here, and some (hopefully) fun hands-on activities.
And, to celebrate the first such study, there will be a fun give-away at the end of these first three weeks…..which I will have more details about later =)
If you know others who would enjoy participating in this study, feel free to invite them along for the ride too. The more the merrier, right?
I am excited to see what the Lord teaches us throughout this study! The first such email should be in your inbox by Saturday evening, Lord willing.
*If you are reading this after Saturday, feel free to jump on in anyways…..I will happily send you all the emails so you can play “catch up” and join us for the fun!*