Sunday, February 03, 2013

Hymn Of The Week

We have some hymnal supplements in our denomination which have a lot of newer songs. Some worship leaders (who get to pick most of the hymns in our church) choose songs mostly from these supplements and I don't like that as much. I don't know the songs and instead of getting to belt out (in my understated way -- ha!) a hymn which I dearly love and is very familiar to me, I instead have to pick my way through a song I don't know. And it often feels like the congregation isn't as familiar with these songs either. All that to say, today was a day where I didn't really enjoy the singing. But, oh but...

In children's time the story teller was talking about how God created each of us unique, and used the example of how each voice part in a four-part hymn is important, using the hymn "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee." She had the sopranos sing their line, than the altos, then the tenors and then the basses. She pointed out that the alto line is really boring -- they only sing D the whole time -- and how sometimes our lives feel like they're really boring too. Or worse, we feel like WE are boring. Then she had everyone sing except the altos. The sound was unfulfilled; it was clearly missing something. And her point was, even if we feel like we are boring, God needs us to fill in the whole picture -- we all bring something to God's family. I was in tears by the time she was done, due to the singing and her message. And that hymn has always been a favourite of mine.

So today I'm writing about Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee. (Words found here.) Henry Van Dyke, the author, wrote this hymn one morning and presented it to the college president whose college he was about to speak at. He said it was inspired by the Berkshires which were surrounding the college. According to my book, Van Dyke later said, "These verses are simple expressions of common Christian feelings and desires in this present time -- hymns of today that may be sung together by people who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of science may destory religion, or any revolution on earth overthrow the kingdom of heaven. Therefore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope." (emphasis mine)

When I look at today's picture of Sam and Rachel I see the physical manifestion of the words which I have bolded. That picture to me is one of trust and joy and hope and I love it. And couldn't we use a little more of all those qualities in our world. So join me in singing, "Joyful, joyful we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love..."


  1. I LOVE that illustration that the children's story teller made! What a great story! As an alto, I appreciate it even more, ha. Also...Joyful Joyful is definitely one of my favorite hymns.

  2. I love that old hymn too! Yes, we do need more joy, hope, and trust in this world. The world needs to find the joy we have in Christ because without Him, there is no hope! Lovely picture of those kiddos as usual! :-)

  3. I can't believe how big they look in this photo. And I see them all the time!

  4. Such a great picture, and I love that hymn!

  5. Hi Natasha! You have beautiful children and sound like a wonderful mother!

    1. Thank you Sarah! I try, and I make mistakes, just like everyone else :) Thanks for stopping by.


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