“Please turn in your hymnal with me to page 150.”
I grew up in a church that sung hymns. Being a military family, we’ve moved around quite a bit and I’ve noticed, for the most part, churches aren’t singing hymns…and I miss them. They tell a story about life, grace, love, and mercy in such a beautiful and poetic way. The language is in no way modern, but it’s beautiful and I love it!
I love that so many hymns are not only inspired by scripture, but they’re also often personal testimonies of God’s faithfulness. Honoring and praising God no matter what struggles and trials life may bring. “When We All Get To Heaven,” which has always been a favorite of mine, was written by Eliza E. Hewitt, a school teacher and a Sunday School teacher who suffered an injury and became an invalid. Instead of becoming bitter, she instead studied literature and began to write, knowing that one day she’d be rejoicing on streets of gold. Though she’d recover, she’d always have relapses and pain. To borrow from the worship song, “Trading My Sorrows,” by Darrell Evans, Eliza E. Hewitt traded her pain for the joy of the Lord.
For the offering in church yesterday, the worship team sang a rousing rendition (or as my mom would describe it, bar room style!) of the hymn, “When We All Get To Heaven.” It was lively and fun. It got the toes a-tappin’ and the hands a-clappin’. But beyond that, the message of the hymn penetrated my soul. I started truly pondering the wondrous love of Jesus, his mercy and his grace. How he was preparing a place for me, and what a day of rejoicing it will be when we get a glimpse of our Lord! Onward to the prize before us; faithful, trusting and serving every day and how all of our struggles on this earth will be well worth it when the pearly gates open and we finally gaze upon his beauty! When we get to heaven, forever praising our Savior. It was a glimpse of heaven!
How wonderful and exciting is that?! I mean, really, it is so exciting!
Don’t get me wrong, I love contemporary worship songs too, I really do. And I enjoy worship even when we don’t sing hymns. I just miss singing hymns. My upbringing has a lot to do with my appreciation and love of hymns, I know. I want my boys growing up hearing and singing them, which we do. One of our bedtime songs is the hymn, “Yesterday, Today, Forever.” I believe hymns are still relevant in today’s hip and technological world. I think I’m going to start a campaign, “Sing A Hymn!”
The bottom line is worship is worship and it’s a matter of the heart no matter which song we’re singing. Each of us must choose to open our heart to to worship and welcome the Lord. Because one day, “When We All Get To Heaven” and see Jesus, we’ll forevermore sing and shout the victory! But today, we’re singing a hymn!
“When We All Get To Heaven” (Eliza E. Hewitt)
- Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
Sing His mercy and His grace;
In the mansions bright and blessed
He’ll prepare for us a place.
When we all get to heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!
- While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
Clouds will overspread the sky;
But when trav’ling days are over,
Not a shadow, not a sigh.
- Let us then be true and faithful,
Trusting, serving every day;
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay.
- Onward to the prize before us!
Soon His beauty we’ll behold;
Soon the pearly gates will open;
We shall tread the streets of gold.