Monday, 19 March 2012

Croeso! Wilkommen! Hiya! - and all that Jazz


In fact...I'm going to start by putting you all off right now.

We aren't discussing jazz.

Not even - in the slightest.

I am a fan of CCM - or contemporary Christian music.

However, in that world of rocky roads and jumpy joy, we're losing the serene beauty of something timeless.

The hymns.

Hi! I'm Siân Garner-Jones, also known as Jane Johnson, and your tour guide into the world of "archaeology". Of reviving the comatose. Of exploring the Ancient Wonders of the World.

Tap away at the comment box - PLEASE - and let me know how it's goin' with your exploring! What DO YOU UNDERSTAND? What revolts you or sends you revelling into an ecstasy of revelry?
Is there anything that could be done better? This is interactive. ;)

Or simply put, grab your caps and your dictionaries and fasten your seatbelts, and join me into the World of Lyrical Loveliness!

"I Don't Like Hymns!"

Be warned! This is a ranty blog post. :D

I love a lot of CCM songs. Don't get me wrong. Tenth Avenue North, Casting Crowns, John Waller, Ana Laura, 33 Miles, Relient K are some of my favourite artists.

What happened to the hymns?

I was shocked and upset to hear a comment a few months ago, which basically read as: "I don't like the hymns. They're too old fashioned and out of date. I don't understand the words."

Most modern CCM worships to the feel of us to God. What happened to focusing on God to us, and the glorious salvation?

Singing in the shower this morning to hymns like "Jesus, Lover of My Soul", "I'm Not Ashamed", "Oh the Deep Deep Love of Jesus", "Redeemed", and "To God Be the Glory".

How many of those do you hear in modern day services? True, there are a few Wesleyan and Crosby hymns left - but notice something.

Unless they retain a happy air, most of the hymns have been abandoned.

We've swapped the solemn for the sensual and the grand for the rock.

How many have you focused on the words to the hymns recently? Did you actually even study them? Or has your English been so downgraded that you only like the basic English you can grasp WITHOUT thinking about it?
Look at how many beautiful, wonderful hymns are being FORGOTTEN simply because they're being taken over by 20/7 choruses. (7 lines, 20 times.)

You don't understand the words? Great! Time for the dictionary! If you can take time to study Coleridge for an exam, you can definitely take time to analyse a hymn.

Get your brains in gear! Before we lose centuries of fantastic worship.

Oh, and away with the chopping out verses. Look at what you're missing!

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Try putting it together. Like sentences.

And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Savior’s blood?

Interest has three basic meanings.

One meaning, the state of wanting to know or learn about something or someone.
Two meaning, money paid regularly at a particular rate for the use of money lent, or for delaying the repayment of a debt
Three: A legal concern, title, or right in property

How did we come to want to know at all, to have an attraction to, Jesus Christ and His death for us?
How did we come to have any legal right in His blood?

Can it even be possible?

Died He for me, who caused His pain; for me, who Him to death pursued?

Did He die for me? I was the one who caused His pain through my sin. I was the one who hated Him, who sinned against Him, who with every vile part of me loathed, fought against His purity and slew Him for it.

Amazing love!

Love is God, for God is Love. Totally wondrous and incomprehensible.

How can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

How is it possible that God, the Creator, our Maker, should take on our form and that simply to undertake our curse and die for us??

How is it that we should come to be interested in our sinful state in the blood of God? How is it we come to have any right in it?
Did He really die for us - the people who caused His death, who did everything to make His death certain?
What wonderful love would do that!
How could it possibly be that God would die for me?

And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Saviour's blood?
Died He for me who caused His pain - for me who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love!
How can it be that Thou my God shouldst die for me?