I grew up in a church where, like many, we sang from a hymnal. In college, the primary church I attended used the “Celebration Hymnal.” At some point I obtained my own copy, which, in time was lost. Finally, my gracious mother bought me a new copy for Christmas this past year. So, recently, as a part of my “devotional time” with God, I’ve included my Celebration Hymnal as a humble attempt to enhance my worship. Today, for instance, I just opened the hymnal and it fell to hymn #157 – “The Love of God” by Frederick Lehman. Most of us would know this hymn from Mercy Me’s rendition that you can find on YouTube here.
Anyway…I’ve missed my hymnal. I’m glad I’ve gotten the new one. But more than missing the hymnal, I’ve missed what the hymn and hymnals offer – Scripture inspired and God centered lyrics that help me to get my attention off of me and on to God. Without worship, my love for God runs a little dry and my focus on self becomes more paramount. Taking the time to read and/or sing a hymn as a part of my time with the Lord has added such freshness.
A verse you’ll read on Saturday in The Bridge’s New Testament Challenge describes a habit of Jesus and his disciples:
“When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Matthew 26:30 (NIV)
If you’re ever like me and getting a little self-focused and your worship is running dry, grab a hymnal. Sing a hymn.