Hymns Have Been a Tremendous Resource for Theology and Worship for Generations

Hymns have been the cornerstone of Protestant worship since the Reformation. In every generation for the last five hundred years, Protestants have produced hymns that encourage and point the believer to God. Hymns are often deeply theological, emotional, practical, reflective, and instructional. Singing hymns corporately connects contemporary Christians with saints who have lived before us, and are now in heaven.

Watch this video and listen to the words of this hymn, “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say” written by Horatius Bonar in the 1800s. Tell me if this is does not encourage you as a believer seeking the assurance of salvation and the awareness of Christ’s presence in your life–

Let’s not neglect to consider this hymn, “Father, Hear the Prayer We Offer” by Samuel Longfellow in 1864. This hymn also seeks the assurance of God, but it also is a prayer for strength and courage as we live in this world which is not our home.

And my own personal favorite: “And Can it Be,” written by Charles Wesley in 1738. A truly timeless hymn with soaring lyrics telling the amazing story of the meaning of God’s love for sinners. Listen, enjoy, worship!

There are many, many worthy hymns and spiritual songs that have been recently written. Still, I pray that we do not cast aside the centuries of hymnody through which generations before us have worshipped Christ.

6 responses to “Hymns Have Been a Tremendous Resource for Theology and Worship for Generations

  1. My favorite rendition of that beautiful Wesleyan hymn "And Can It Be" was done by Glad (http://youtu.be/qqFLUbvh91E). Personally, "Be Thou My Vision" has always spoken to me — it is my prayer! Thank you Rev. Dr. John for this blog; I am inspired.

  2. "Hymns have been the cornerstone of Protestant worship since the Reformation." Indeed, hymns have been an integral part of Christian worship since Jesus Christ defeated death! Can you imagine hearing that hymn Christ sang with the disciples before he suffered for us? (Matthew 26:30) Here's a couple more hymns you might enjoy:First, a Pascha ("Easter") Hymnhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5avKysnTfjESecond, this is in Russian, but it is only a beautifully done reptition of "Lord have mercy" (Gospodi Pomilui). So its not hard to follow. 🙂 Orthodox Christians sometimes repeat "Lord have mercy on me a sinner," three times during their prayers to symbolize that repentance is a life that is lived and not merely a one time event. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2scpPh7yJGMSince converting, I've missed a lot of those Protestant hymns too. I wish orthodox music was more developed in English. The great arrangements of the ancient hymns seem to be in other languages. I suspect this is because Rome (and then her Protesters) spread West from Jerusalem, and so the rest of the original churches spread East. Orthodoxy then met what may be the most brutal and bloody persecution in history under the Communists for centuries. By the time orthodoxy reached America, the West had already sunk its roots. So, unfortunately for me, it is actually quite difficult to find English speaking orthodox churches here, let alone churches that have a rich musical development in English. But God is good, and I've been blessed so much more than I deserve.In Christ,Jason Davis

  3. When He rolls up His sleevesHe ain't just putting on the ritz(Our God is an awesome God)

  4. Thanks for the comparison, MM2!

  5. I'm with you on Be Thou My Vision! Thank you, James!

  6. Thanks for the link, Jason!

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