I love music! Choral music, instrumental music, popular music, classical music . . . folk tunes, ballads, country western and bluegrass . . . the patriotic and romantic. For me, music is a must.
Like you, I have my favorite hymns—the ones that hold some special meaning for me or evoke grand and vivid memories of significant events. Invariably, those things pass in mental review as I become “lost in wonder, love, and praise” in my worship.
While thinking of the glorious message of the Resurrection recently, I found myself suddenly overwhelmed with the music that has accompanied the celebration of the empty tomb for centuries. Various scenes crossed my mind. I saw myself as a lad holding my mother’s hand in a little Baptist church in South Texas. I remembered a sunrise service on the island of Okinawa when I fought back tears of loneliness. Another hymn took me to Chafer Chapel on the campus of Dallas [Theological] Seminary, where 350 young men preparing for ministry stood side by side and sang heartily of the Savior we’d soon be proclaiming.
During my nostalgic pilgrimage, at each geographical spot revisited, I gave God thanks that Job’s words were mine as well: “I know that my redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25 KJV).
Gloria Gaither’s familiar lyrics then brought me into the seventies: “And because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone.” It is Jesus Christ—the miraculously resurrected Son of God—who remains the Object of our worship, the Subject of our praise.
That hope has kept believers strong in the darkest places.
“Thus far did I come, burdened with my sin. Nor could ought ease the grief that I was in ’til I came hither. What a place is this! Must here be the beginning of my bliss? Must here the burden fall off my back? Must here the chains that bound it to me crack? Blest cross! Blest sepulchre! Blest rather be, the Man who was put to shame for me” (John Bunyan).