Why new hymns?
This past Sunday night we had a wonderful time of worship led by Nathan Neely and Ryan Hale. The purpose of the evening was to familiarize the congregation with some of the unknown hymns in our new hymnal. But we discovered much more than a few new melodies. The lyrics touched us deeply. Our hearts joined together in singing truth about our God. We were able to worship.
But I have been asked on several occasions, why do we need new hymns? Do not the old ones suffice? They are familiar already, so why add additional songs. There are a couple of reasons why. First of all, we are commanded in scripture to sing new songs to the Lord. Psalm 33:3 ‘Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.’ Psalm 96:1 ‘Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!’ Psalm 98:1 ‘Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.’ Psalm 149:1 ‘Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly!’ Isaiah 42:10 ‘Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants.’ These are just a few of the places where we are instructed to sing new songs to the Lord.
But that should lead us to ask why? It is because God, while never changing, has endless new discoveries to be made by mankind. Knowledge of his being is inexhaustible. We will never plumb the depth of the riches of his attributes. His wondrous deeds always have some new aspect to be appreciated and praised. His infinite nature and his mighty acts will always provide new material for musicians to compose. If we truly know our God, praising Him will never get stale. We should never be content to sing just a few songs about God as if we have Him figured out. Jeremiah was certainly correct when he said, ‘The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.’ (Lamentations 3:22-23). There will never be a time when we will not have reason to sing something new in praise of the triune God,
To that end let me encourage you to look up the hymns we sang at the last two meetings. Reflect on the words. Allow them to draw your mind to the scriptures which inspired them, but more so to the living God who deserves our praise.
Hymns from June 14- The Solid Rock (381), He Will Hold Me Fast (388), Christ, the Sure and Steady Anchor (406), How Firm a Foundation (364), Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul (52), Hallelujah! What a Savior! (296), All I Have is Christ (389), Our Great God (42), I Sing the Mighty Power of God (26), O Great God (35)
Hymns from July 9- O Church of Christ, Invincible (338), To God Be the Glory (19), Come, Praise and Glorify (44), He Will Hold Me Fast (388), My Savior’s Love (105), Come, Behold the Wondrous Mystery (184), Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing (104), The Sands of Time are Sinking (427), So Send I You (347), Facing a Task Unfinished (348), Christ, the Sure and Steady Anchor (406)