When I was growing up and going to church, I would sing the old hymns but much rather prefered the new contemporary "CCM" music at the Sunday services. Now I enjoy some of the currently written songs, but am drawn toward the old hymns and their stories. Why?
Well, in my late 20's when I was singing the hymns and reading their stories I felt somehow connected with the ancestors of my faith. This music got them through wars, hardships, famines, migrations, etc. I would not only practice sight-reading when I was singing some I didn't know, but I would look at the date they were written and imagine what was going on in the world at the time.
Now I'm in my late 30's and am thinking of my loved ones who have passed away in the last few years. I know these songs have helped them through drought, the foot-and-mouth cattle disease in the 1930's, hard winters, financial and family difficulties, fires (one's apron catching on fire while being pregnant and suffering a back burn and one family business fire in particular), mundaneness of day-to-day life (including what to fix for supper), cancer and other illnesses, loss of their loved ones, etc. I can draw on this same faith that they leaned on to carry them through and feel connected to them and am comforted by that.
Do you see what this means--all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running--and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Heb 12:1 MSG
p.s. Here's a link for the story of the hymn "Faith of Our Fathers" if you're interested.
p.p.s. Hope to blog about change and the church soon, as this post has led me to realize all of the changes my ancestors have gone through in their faith communities.