Pause with Pastor Joel – March 6, 2023

For my birthday I received a copy of the early hymns of the Methodists that John Wesley pulled together into a single hymnal. They are largely written by his brother, Charles, though they also include hymns by Isaac Watts and a few others.
There are over 400 hymns in the collection. I have taken up reading one of them as part of my morning devotional time. At that rate, it will take me until well after my next birthday to finish.
As I read them, I’m struck by two things:
One, we clearly have always been a people that have sung. There is power in song. Well written hymns can share the faith with us memorable ways if the music helps us to remember the words. This was the original intent of the Psalms in our Bible. They were sung and they helped people to remember the truths of the faith by setting those words to song.
Two, not only do we have a long-standing tradition of being singers as Methodists, but some hymns have had long life as well. While this collection of over 400 hymns are largely ones we no longer sing, it does includes some hymns that we still sing and that are still in our hymnal. Hymns by Charles Wesley and Isaac Watts and others that have spoken to us of the power of faith in Jesus Christ for so many years and continue to do so.
It’s the power of song. A two-fold power – one for it’s adeptness that communicating faith to us in memorable ways and also the power of lasting quality and singability and grandeur.
I guess I’ve been struck by how when I sing on a Sunday morning I don’t often think about it or the power it has. Lately I’ve been reflecting on it more.
What’s your favorite hymn? Which hymns will you be singing on your death bed because they are so much a part of you? What songs have changed your life? Which have led you to faith in Jesus?
Music has power. For that we give thanks to God!

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One Response to “Pause with Pastor Joel – March 6, 2023”

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