This is Part Two of my case for re-introducing some hymns into the playlist of the contemporary church. Outside of a well-worn 3 or 4 (Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art, Great is Thy Faithfulness...) - we do not sing hymns any more.
Part One - a prayer-full playlist - is here.
I trawled the hymnbook of my NZ Baptist tradition (others will have other traditions) and found some that I'd love to see added to the playlist. Just one from among these 20 each Sunday would be about right, I reckon. With an enthusiastic lead from the 'worship-leader' (so none of this drag-your-feet 'the pastor made me do it' body language), these all have possibilities. I'd put these praise-full ones at a more buoyant time in the service. Check with an older musician in the church on the possible tunes - but I suspect that, unlike the prayer-full ones, you may well need to amp them up a bit. But don't play them too quickly! You will discover that these hymns connect people with a deeper, richer spirituality.
I will name the first line of the hymn (in bold) and then include a verse (in italics) that stands out to me - so you catch something of the flavour. OK?!
1. It is a thing most wonderful
And yet I want to love Thee, Lord;
O light the flame within my heart,
And I will love Thee more and more,
Until I see Thee as Thou art.
2. I cannot tell why He whom angels worship
I cannot tell how He will win the nations,
How he will claim His earthly heritage,
How satisfy the needs and aspirations
Of east and west, of sinner and of sage.
But this I know, all flesh shall His glory,
And he shall reap the harvest He has sown,
And some glad day His sun shall shine in splendour
When He the Saviour, Saviour of the world, is known.
3. Sing we the King who is coming to reign
... Joy to the nations when Jesus is King...
... Wrong shall be ended when Jesus is King ...
... Sword shall be sickle when Jesus is King ...
... Love is victorious when Jesus is King ...
... Satan is vanquished AND Jesus is King.
4. How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
Weak is the effort of my heart,
And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see Thee as Thou art,
I'll praise Thee as I ought.
5. Loved with everlasting love
Heaven above is softer blue,
Earth around is sweeter green;
Something lives in every hue,
Christless eyes have never seen:
Birds with gladder songs o'erflow,
Flowers with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know, as now I know,
I am His and He is mine.
6. God of grace and God of glory
Heal Thy children's warring madness;
Bend our pride to Thy control;
Shame our wanton, selfish gladness,
Rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom,
Grant us courage,
Lest we miss Thy kingdom's goal.
7. Jesus, I am resting, resting in the joy of what Thou art
Ever lift Thy face upon me, as I work and wait for Thee;
Resting neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, earth's dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father's glory, sunshine of my Father's face,
Keep me trusting, resting; fill me with Thy grace.
8. Come let us sing of a wonderful love
Jesus is seeking the wanderers yet;
Why do they roam?
Love only waits to forgive and forget;
Home! weary wanderers home!
Dwells in the heart of the Father above.
9. There is no love like the love of Jesus
There is no heart like the heart of Jesus,
Filled with a tender love,
No throb nor throe that our hearts can know
But He feels it above.
10. I know not why God's wondrous grace
I know not how this saving faith
To me he did impart;
Or how believing in His word
Wrought peace within my heart
... but 'I know whom I have believed;
and am persuaded that he is able to keep
that which I have committed unto Him until that day.'
nice chatting - and I hope some 'worship-leaders' are reading this!
'Go on - go against the flow and do something different.
More people are tiring of the current 'liturgy' than you realise.
Just one of these twenty songs on any given Sunday,
enthusiastically introduced, and watch what happens!' :) :)