Whether it’s the piano in the hallway of the hospital, the home of a friend, or in my own living room, each time I pass by a piano I’m tempted to plunk the keys. There’s nothing like the echo of a note through the metal strings, the wooden chassis, and the ivory keys. Every piano has a life of its own that can’t be communicated through the empty shells of molded plastic modern keyboards.
I pull the heavy key guard of the piano back, my fingertips rest in the formation of a chord, and without fail one of the familiar hymns I grew up singing in church flows forth. It’s always a hymn.
Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.
To God be the glory – great things He hath done; so loved He the world that He gave us His Son …
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, what a glory He sheds on our way!
Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus our blessed Redeemer! Sing, O earth – His wonderful love proclaim!
There was a time as a teen, when these songs seemed crusty and lifeless. Then I was saved. I grew up in church and remember raising my hand and saying a prayer when I was a small child; but it’s not giving your heart to Jesus that saves you, it’s when Jesus gives you a new heart that He saves you. After that day the hymnal became my second favorite book to the Bible.
Modern Christian music comes and goes as fast as you can change the station on the car radio. The words are self-centered, sometimes very confusing, vainly repetitious, and often shelter very poor theology behind overly complex tunes. But a song still sung, loved, and teaching sound theology after 300 years has something to it.
Each Sunday when we open our hymnals, they still always Tell Me the Story of Jesus.