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The Power of the Hymn

published on Inspire a Fire, March 18, 2013.


I spent a great deal of my weekend trying in vain to be the twelfth caller to K-Love, a nation-wide Christian radio station. They were giving away a new worship CD, recorded live at the Passion Conference in Atlanta just a few months ago.  My attempts to win it were fueled by my daughter, who had hoped to attend that same conference. She adores today’s worship music and is quick to introduce me to her latest favorite.

But as much as I love the latest trend of new songs, I have a special place in my heart for the older hymns. Hymns I first learned by hearing my grandmother sing them from the kitchen amidst the clanging of pots and pans and the wafting scent of frying bacon.

The current worship songs I find most moving are those derived from hymns, recorded in a new and fresh way. Jesus Paid it All is one such song. I grew up listening to that one, sans music, from the pew sandwiched between my mother and grandmother. I wiggled my way through church, doodling on the back side of an attendance card until service was over. I knew when it was almost time to eat when the congregation started singing again. But when I heard them singing the words to Jesus Paid it All in their gentle alto voices, I took note of the tears glistening in their eyes. Those lyrics, and their passion for them as they sang created a desire in me to want to know more. And soon, I was singing along with them.

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