Quality hymns, whether older or newer, are a great heritage of the church. They remind us that in every age God has stirred his people to put into poetry and to music words which articulate for his people personal and public praise. A great many hymn lyrics have stood the test of time, and, with the right music, have found a place in the minds and emotions of God’s people. We love to sing them, whether meandering through the day alone, or gathered in formal assembly in the communion of the saints.
One of the more memorable testimonies I have heard of the influence of hymn singing was given in our home in Grand Rapids by Dr. Geoff Thomas. Although he has ministered at Alfred Place Baptist Church since 1965 ~ a monumental and youthful fifty years ~ he recalls the part his mother played in his conversion to Christ. Not until he was asked by the friends of his youth about her joyful singing of hymns around the home, did he realize how unusual was her habit and demeanor. As he put it, “He thought all his friends’ mothers sang hymns around their homes.” Only with the realization that this was not the case, did he probe further into the cause of her singing. He was thereby led to the Lord.