My husband was raised Catholic, and though he is now an evangelical protestant like me, we couldn't really agree on the type of church to go to in the beginning of our marriage. My husband preferred something a little "less like a rock concert" and I preferred a more casual, less ritualistic church. So we finally ended up at our current church, which is a good mixture of modern and old-school.
One of the things our current church has highlighted for me is my lack of hymn knowledge. Our church sings a variety of types of songs, but I find that I am often singing blindly through songs I've never heard before. Sure, I can sing most modern Christian songs by heart, and I knew Amazing Grace, but pretty much every other "old-school" hymn was beyond my knowledge.
It has been such a joy to me to learn these hymns over the last few years and commit some of them to heart. I find that their simple lyrics are so deeply touching, and I love the knowledge that millions of Christians have sung those exact words for decades, and maybe even centuries. I feel like before I equated hymns with ritualistic churches, and didn't think I could ever connect with them. I was so wrong!
One of my favorite hymns is Be Thou My Vision, which I am so happy to have had the chance to get to know. I listen to this song on repeat in my car sometimes on the way to work, and it is always so inspiring.
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
What beautiful words. Personally, my favorite verse of the song is this one:
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
In fact, I love this song so much that I plan to put it in our little one's nursery:
Now, please don't take this post to mean that I think modern Christian songs are not great too. I personally believe that God loves worship, and modern songs can be worshipful as well. The problem I find with some churches is that worship becomes more about the experience of those in the church, and not about worshiping Our God. In an effort to make the worship experience cool, some churches forgo some of the old-fashioned hymns in favor of more modern songs. There is nothing inherently wrong with modern songs, but the problem is with the priority of using modern songs only because the focus is on the church members' experience.
Do you have any favorite songs that really bring out the worship of your heart? Another of my favorites is Before the Throne of God Above