Training The Heart To Rejoice In The Truth Of God
Singing about God and his grace is a way to join the heart – as well as the mind and will — in our faith. All of us are much more “feelings driven” than we would care to admit with the decisions we make about life. Without an emotional component to our faith our life with God is incomplete. The human heart is going to sing of both its joys and its sorrows. Hymns and singing are the way we train ourselves to sing about God. Singing of the mercies of God and the holiness of God and the deeds of God week after week and year after year shapes us because it rises from and touches the deepest area of the soul. Singing good hymns is simply following the sound advice from the 17th century by Thomas Chalmers who taught that we grow in grace as new affections of the Gospel drive out old ones of the passing world.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty . . . .
O sacred head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down . . .
Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly . . .
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me . . . .
There is a reason that for centuries we have used these words and other like them to express our love for our Savior. They are deep calling to deep through which the soul awakens to revel in the love of God for whom we have been made.