|Nunnally United Methodist Church in Hickman County TN
I attend a localThe Baptist worship format consists of singing, a congregational prayer time, the collection, Bible reading and the sermon and, of course, an invitation. And this format works well in raising our spirits and making us receptive to the preaching of the Lord’s message.
and always leave the service with a sincere feeling of having worshiped God and having been filled with the Holy Spirit through the music and the inspired message of our pastor. Baptist Church
But there are things I miss from my days in the
. I miss the routine, I miss the Apostle’s Creed every Sunday, I miss the Doxology, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise him all creatures here below, praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”. I miss closing the pastor’s prayer with the congregation saying the Lord’s Prayer, “...we pray these things in the name of Jesus who taught us to pray saying, Our Father, who art in Heaven...”. I miss communion on a regular basis and I miss the personal connection of receiving the communion elements from the hands of the pastor or one of those assisting the pastor. In some churches, the person handing out the elements will whisper a quiet reassurance, “The body of Christ broken for YOU.” I usually get a chill as the word YOU is spoken. I feel, I know, those words were especially spoken for my benefit! United Methodist Church
But most of all I miss the hymns. Don’t get me wrong, the new praise songs are usually meaningful as they have a single theme wrapped in a lyrical phrase which is repeated over and over. It is good music with a message but I missed the old hymns, the one that seemed to be more concerned with the theology of the message and only secondarily the musical suitability or the ease of singing. Some of my favorites are;
•“Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see...”
•“Are you able to remember when a thief lifts up his eyes that his soul is worthy of a place in paradise...”
•“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty...”
•“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear!
•“Trust and Obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
•“Joy to the World! The Lord has come; Let earth receive her King...”
Singing hymns with such strong messages help solidify their message in our minds. We may not remember the sermon last Sunday but we will remember the hymns especially if they are ones we sing over and over. I suspect most Christians can recite more verses to hymns than they can Bible verses. In fact, if you have grown up in the church, you learned the basics of faith and your relationship to God and Jesus from hymns as much as from the Bible or, dare I say, from the sermons. I enjoy the new music, but I do miss the old hymns. Those old fashioned, sometimes boring, I could sing them in my sleep, why don’t we sing some new stuff, hymns that tumble freely out of our mind when someone asks, “What do you believe?”
Being old isn’t necessarily bad, neither in church routines and hymns nor in humans. Or so says this old man!