... is not as well read as my Bible.... sadly.
After I wrote my last post I went to my bookshelf and pulled off my Lutheran Hymnal. The Lutheran Hymnal is the so called Old Hymnal it was first published in 1941. It is also called the "red hymnal" because, well, its red. The "new hymnal" is blue and was published in 1980-something.
My red hymnal means a lot to me. It was a gift when I was confirmed from the church. On the cover is stamped in gold letters: Karl Ernest Lindner May 29, 1988. I can't believe its been 17 years since I was confirmed. That's half a lifetime ago, literally.
Until just recently I had never thought of hymns as poems, but they are. Here's a hymn I just found. I don't think I've ever had the opportunity to sing it, but I like the words:
Oh, for a faith that will not shrink;
Tho' passed by many a foe
That will not trmbel on the brink
Of poeverty or woe;
That will not mur-mur nor complain
Beneath the chast'ning rod,
But in the hour of grief or pain
Can look upon its God;
A faith that shines more bright and clear
When tempests rage without;
That, when in danger, knows no fear,
In darkness no doubt;
That bears unmoved the worlds dread frown
Nor heeds its scornful smile;
That sin's wild ocean cannot drown
Nor Satan's arts beguile;
A faith that keeps the narrow way
Till life's past spark is fled
And with a pure and heavenly ray
Lights up the dying bed
Lord, give us such a faith as this;
And then, whate'er may come,
We'll taste e'en now the hallowed bliss
Of an eternal home
-- Lutheran Hymnal 396
William H. Bathurst/Alexander Reinagle
I think it would be a good and self-edifying thing to add my (less than daily) devotions. That's something I need to work on, too. Doing daily, not everyother day or once a week (maybe) devotions.
OK Karl we may have to agree to disagree here. I read your prevouis post took away from it that you like the Red hymnal, but don't dispise those who don't. So I may make some generalizations that don't pertain to you. I grew up using the red hymnal....I watched our church divide because we switched to the blue. As I look at that congregation now, I know they have switched back to using the red. Of course a congregation that once supported it's own pastor now shares a pastor with two other congregations, but they still have the red hymnal. I wonder where their emphasis really lies. Is it on saving lives. Where I don't really care what hymnal people perfer to use, I am deeply saddened by the dedication we have to a book written by men. You wrote something interesting in your previous blog....Worship felt like a Sunday morning campfire.....It was and is always a goal that campfires became like a worship service. A time when campers were praising and listening to teaching and praying to God. At one point the red hymnal was new and it fit the people of the time, who loved and embraced it. Which is why people are still clinging to it. It routinely however is not the type of Worship that engages most people of this generation and for that matter the previous. Where I like contemporary Worship, I do also like the parts of the Worship that we have become comfortable with as Lutherans, but we have to be careful that those things we like are not just the traditions.
The "red hymnal" was blue in the church I grew up in. It also came in black and white(fancy, personal version).
Except, of course, that "contemporary worship" *doesn't* engage people of this generation. That's one of the myths its supporters peddle on the subject. So there's really no reason to put up with all that bad theology- or all that bad music, either. All the surveys show that traditional, liturgical worship is much more attractive to the current generation than what is alleged to be so "contemporary."
The emphasis is exactly where it belongs, in those "red hymnal" congregations: on the words of God, and the Means of Grace.
It's not the words of men at all. Take another look at the words of the liturgy.
It centers on Jesus. Unfortunately, "contemporary worship," tends to focus on me, and my emotions...and even my musical preferences.
In other words, my Old Adam.
The concern is that God, not the self, be the focus- and the Means of Grace, not the emotions, the what is central.
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