I grew up in a Baptist Church in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Did I just type that out loud?? The 60’s and 70’s??? Damn, that’s a long time ago. No wonder my teenager thinks I am weird. But anyway… where was I? Oh yeah, church.
Growing up in church one thing I definitely had a love/hate relationship with was the music. Back in those days, our church sang hymns. Pure and simple hymns. No praise music. No contemporary worship service for the younger people and traditional style for the older people. We sang hymns on Sunday morning and that was that.
Now in our youth group we were able to sing praise music. But not in “big church” as we called it. I think a little later, around the late 70’s maybe a little praise music crept into our services, but usually not. When it did it was in the form of the “special music” or choir performances.
I was thinking about these hymns this morning. Don’t ask me why I just was. I looked a few up and I was amazed that every time I saw the title of a hymn, I could almost always recall the tune and the chorus. It’s been nearly 30 years since I regularly sang any of these songs but here they were, rattling around in the back of my brain.
Have Thine Own Way Lord
Blessed Be The Name
Just A Closer Walk With Thee
All Hail The Power of Jesus’ Name
Christ Our Lord Has Risen Today
Faith Is The Victory
To God Be The Glory
I Love To Tell The Story
He Lifted Me
O, How I Love Jesus
Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus
‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus
The Old Rugged Cross
I Surrender All
Standing On The Promises
Nothing But The Blood
Love Lifted Me
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Amazing! I can sing at least a good portion of each of those songs and many more. I didn’t even mention the ones I take for granted like “Just As I Am”, “Amazing Grace” and of course “How Great Thou Art”.
For some reason, I love these old hymns. Most of my youth was spent loathing hearing these “dumb old songs” each and every Sunday, but no doubt there is something very comforting about hearing the tunes and remembering the melodies now. For centuries these hymns have been sung in churches of all denominations, but I would like to think us Southern Baptist sang them with just a little more conviction than most.
Remembering all of these songs says something for repetition and longevity. Do something often enough and long enough and you will never forget it, even if you didn’t like it at the time.
Would I go back? No way. Not now, not ever. Do I miss it? Yeah, sometimes.