Blog Template Theology of the Body: Favorite Hymn Meme

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Favorite Hymn Meme

... Tagged by my childhood friend Mrs. J. She has the most beautiful blog out there.

The meme requires that you name your favorite hymn and chat about why it's your pick. Hmmmm. It was Mrs. J who taught and inspired yours truly about slowly, carefully figuring out a favorite hymn on the piano until you can really belt it out; I used to do this for hours, and now frankly, I pride myself on rarely having to use a hymnal (it's an ounce of mortification). I am prone to start singing these sermons in miniature spontaneously at random places, which tends to drive present company crazy. Case in point: in Heaven, I will sing in the choir. I don't belong there now, but someday...
My criterion for selecting a favorite hymn is exactly the same as the one used for identifying a best friend. It has to resonate with that thing in your soul that wants to run to Jesus. It has to have something of His own heart within it- not platitudes, not wit, not mere morality, not mere fascination-but heartbreaking, tender, joyfully bold and unadulterated love. Friend DZ's rendition of How Deep the Father's Love for Us really does it for me. So does Before the Throne of God Above, which I hear early in the mornings- it's a theological jump-start. The Nashotah House Hymn lately reminds me exactly of what I would like for people to say about me at my funeral (you can listen to it here). And of course, the St. Michael's Hymn- Christ, the Fair Glory of the Holy Angels- is one of the most perfect theological and pastoral statements I have ever heard. I sing it whenever I need fixing.

But my favorite hymn? It's a rendition of We'll Understand it Better By and By, sung by Congolese drummers in their native Lingala. It was authored by a poor African American hymn writer in the old days. It has sheer hope in it.

By and by, when the morning comes,
When the saints of God are gathered home,
We’ll tell the story how we’ve overcome,
For we’ll understand it better by and by.

I now tag every daily reader of this blog. Answer in the comments! Don't be shy. I also tag Taylor Marshall, J-Tron, and all of the great guys at Covenant Comunion.

Can't wait to hear... What is your favorite hymn, and why?