Recently I read an article about why old hymns should not be sung anymore. Mostly the reasoning was that the language was archaic and no longer had meaning.
Well, that is truly a matter of perspective. Those old hymns speak loud and clear to me, much more so than the repeated phrases of today’s choruses. The words of old hymns show a deep understanding of our great and glorious God, and offer praise to Him instead of focusing on self. Plus the tunes bring back to me many pleasant memories of people and places along my life’s journey that have pointed me to God. So I remain thankful for those musical works of art, and I am always glad when I can hear them – and sing along.
One of ten hymns specifically quoted was “For the Beauty of the Earth.” Granted, some of the later verses do have hard-to-understand phrases, but the first two ring out loud and clear, even to today’s ears:
For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light.
Interestingly, the concern over this one was, “It focuses more on the Creation rather than the Creator.” Really? What about the chorus that’s repeated between every verse:
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.
Oh, well, anyway… in truth, I do like a lot of “modern” worship songs as well. So I don’t mean to criticize someone who prefers another type of music. I would just ask that the Lord truly “tunes our hearts to sing His Grace” in whatever form speaks clearest to us.
After all, I believe they all sound good to our Lord, when sung with an attitude of praise!