Rev. Wrightson Tongue preached a sermon at Main Street about 35 years ago entitled “The Sound of Their Music.” The thrust of his sermon was that the culture that we live in tends to influence the music that appeals to us. One illustration that he used was the driving beat of rock music, comparing that beat to the constant beat of our world. It was true then, and maybe more so now.
Rev. F. Belton Joyner Jr. developed and taught a class at Duke for several years that he called “Hymnology.” In this class he examined the hymns of our faith to see what the theology of the hymns was. Not surprisingly, the hymns of John and Charles Wesley reflect the theology of our denomination.
For some reason I have been thinking about this during the past week. It occurs to me that the music that appeals to each of us says something about the theology of our lives. For me, the hymns that are my special ones are hymn of praise and discipleship. Discipleship is the passion of my ministry. We worship to offer praise and thanksgiving to God. We are on a journey of faith to become the image of Christ.
What are those hymns you might ask. Just a few: “To God be the Glory,” “I Love to tell the Story,” “Marching to Zion,” Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine,” “Eagles Wings,” and “Sanctuary.”
I invite you to take some time and think about those special hymns that you have. Look at the words to see what they are saying. They will reveal something to you of your faith.
Thank you, Lord, for the music that defines and guides our faith. Amen.
Always, to God be the glory!