July 10, 2020

Rerun of Daily Devotional July 16, 2018

Yesterday afternoon, Dr. Van Miller played a concert in our sanctuary highlighting the top ten hymns of all-time.  Before each hymn, Van gave the history of how it came into being.  One was composed out of the deepest pain of losing four daughters in a shipwreck.   One was written by a former slave trader who was first turned down for ordination because he was known to freely associate with Methodists.  One was written with a three day deadline.  Still another, was composed by the founder of the Reformation. 

As Van gave an explanation for each hymn, I was reminded that these great songs of faith were not written in  sterile studios free from complexities of life.  They were written in response to events of each composer’s life and what they truly highlighted was the fact that life is messy but God is good.

Your life may be extremely messy right now.  If it is, I am terribly sorry and I pray that your life return to calmer waters.  But know that in these rough times, God does not step away but instead is a present help and comfort in the midst of the chaos.  And God’s endgame is clear.  God intends to bring you home, where we will know true joy, peace, and love.

This understanding is illustrated by the most popular hymn of all-time.  The last verse was an addition taken from the anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe.  It says, “When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’d first begun.” 

King David wrote, “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.”  (Psalm 96:1-2)

Yesterday’s concert was as true blessing.  I was surprised by some of the hymns on the list.  Here they are listed in descending order.  I bet you will be surprised too.

1.  Amazing Grace
2.  Here I Am, Lord
3.  How Great Thou Art
4.  Be Thou My Vision
5.  Because He Lives
6.  Blessed Assurance
7.  Hymn of Promise
8.  A Mighty Fortress  Is Our God
9.  It Is Well With My Soul
10.  Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, as I place my hand in yours, walk me through this life.  Guide my decisions and let my life glorify you.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Today, I thank God for those amazing composers that have added depth to our worship experience.  They are a true blessing.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins