There is just something about music that touches my soul. I had a conversation with someone the other day and it has been on my mind ever since. This person declared that they didn't like the hymns and would not go to a church that played them because, "the hymns never did anything for me".
I was surprised, as the hymns have been so special and dear to me. A hymn is what began my journey toward salvation. The first hymn I ever heard was when I was a senior in high school. A girl on the bus, in the seat in front of me, offered to let me listen to her walkman (yes, I am that old!). A young man was singing "Nothing But the Blood", accompanied by a single acoustic guitar.
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
We got to talking and a few months later (March 7, 1990), I accepted Jesus as my Saviour. It was that hymn that softened my heart to hear the gospel.
My favorite hymn of all time is "Be Thou My Vision". I have loved this hymn since the first time I heard it. It was played with bagpipes and fiddles and Oh! the words! The hymn writer touched on what has been my heart's desire ever since that bus ride so long ago! Whenever I sing this hymn, it truly is the prayer of my heart.
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.
Be Thou my Wisdom, Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee, Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Be Thou my battle-shield, sword for my fight,
Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight.
Thou my soul's shelter, Thou my high tower.
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.
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.
High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heav'ns Son!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O ruler of all.
There are so many other beautiful hymns, with beautiful words, that somehow express what I am feeling, yet can not put into words on my own. I suppose in a sense the hymns don't "do" anything for me, either. But, it's not about what I can get from them; it's about what I can give to God with them: my praise, my worship, my adoration, my gratitude.