Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Why do we have new hymnals?"

Besides the fact that Mr. Krueger has faithfully given endless hours to repairing our red and blue hymnals, twenty-four years of use has naturally taken its toll. Our congregation was ready to send in reinforcements -- it was only a matter of what would take their place.
The Lutheran Service Book has been ten years in the making, making it the most field-tested hymnal in U.S. history. Many of the hymn tunes that were almost impossible to sing have been exchanged for more singable ones. Much of the traditional language of addressing our Lord using "thee" and "thy" has been restored. The page numbering has become more naturally ordered. And on top of that, more than 100 hymns have been added.
These hymnals are an important addition to the worship life of our congregation, not only for Sunday morning services but also for the devotional life of us as individual Christians and the devotional life of our families.
If the hymnal is to be cherished among us, it must remain an indispensable resource not only in the sanctuary but also the Sunday School room and the youth group room and the Priscilla Circle room and each of our homes -- around the table and upon our children's bedside table.
Listen to the encouraging words of Saint Paul when he writes:
"Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (Colossians 3:12-17)