Friday, June 02, 2006

Hymns . . . saving the best for last

As a kid, I grew up on the old hymns of the faith. We would sing through the Hymn book each and every year on Sunday evenings. My favorite was Hymn #447 in the song book we used at Goodyear Heights Community Church in Akron, Ohio. It was the song, The Lily of the Valley. Remember that one? On those Sunday nights when the pastor would ask for requests, I would always shout out . . . “Number 447" . . . and we would sing:

I have found a friend in Jesus, He’s everything to me
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul
The Lilly of the Valley, in Him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole
In sorrow He’s my comfort, in trouble He’s my stay
He tells me every care on Him to roll
He’s the Lilly of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul

But what I have discovered is that the best part of hymns is usually their final stanzas. These verses contain some of the greatest words of hope and inspiration ever written in the hymnal. Below are just a few examples:

And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend
Even so it is well with my soul.

And that with yonder sacred throng we at His feet may fall
We’ll join the everlasting throng and Crown Him Lord of all
We’ll join the everlasting throng and crown Him Lord of all

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were a present far too small
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my life, my soul, my all

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim my God how great Thou Art

Rejoice, rejoice O Christian, lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King
The hope of all who seek Him, the help of all who find
None other is so loving, so good and kind

No comments: