The old hymns bring back great memories for me.
I was raised in a conservative Christian family who were members of a conservative Christian church in the Midwest. I don’t remember knowing anyone in my little home town who didn’t go to church regularly.
My father was a talented musician who owned and operated a car body repair shop for most of his life. He had a beautiful, deep baritone voice. My mother had a nice alto voice and harmonized well. My youngest brother had a great tenor voice. Unfortunately, I also sing alto so my family quartet was missing a soprano but there were many good sopranos in our church congregation. So listening to my family sing the old hymns in church every Sunday morning was a treat – definitely my favorite part of the service.
Those great old hymns reverberated off the walls as my church family sang them with energy and confidence. And my family contributed a beautiful part of it.
My little town also had ‘Hymn Sings’ at the town ballpark during the summer. We would fill up the bleachers with people from all different churches while the organizers set up microphones and amplifiers on a stage over the pitcher’s mound. They hauled in an organ (no drums or guitars here) and handed out song sheets. People would yell out favorites and we would fill the summer sky with praises to God for 2 hours or more.
I would sing harmony with my mom – no music, we sang these same songs in church so often that we had the harmony part memorized. I realized many years ago that I don’t know the melody of some of the old hymns – just the harmony. But I know the words by memory and I also have the second and third verses of many of them etched in my brain.
As I now read Ezekiel 34, these great memories come rolling through my head as God says through Ezekiel, “I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.” vs 26.
One of the many blessings God has given me is a long family legacy of faith and trust in God which creates beautiful memories like these.
Thank you for your blessings, Abba Father.