Some hymns simply have an extra sprinkling of divine magic. The first notes thrill from the organ, and we are home. There’s little wonder that we refer to the majestic sound of choirs of angels: Surely the kingdom of God is full of the sound of singing.
Author Richard H. Schmidt offers a homecoming of sorts in his newest book, Sing to the Lord an Old Song. His meditations on forty classic hymns remind us of a shared faith—by generations before and with generations to come. Though the words and tunes may be entrenched in memory, Schmidt sheds new light on these hymns, inviting us to think about the texts through various lenses of scripture, faith, and personal experience. His reflections are painstakingly honest about how and when he has come up short as a follower of Christ—as well as how he each time, he finds notes of forgiveness, love, and hope in these familiar songs.
Saint Augustine explained the power of song in his oft-quoted adage that those who sing pray twice.
Come, sing and pray of amazing grace. Amen. Alleluia!