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Worship is what keeps us sane. It’s what keeps our hearts and minds in heavenly mode. It’s what brings life into perspective and shows us the glory of praising the Lord of Hosts and honoring the God who created the vastness of the cosmos and who cares about His tiniest creatures. Our Almighty God desires worshipers who will praise Him in spirit and in truth, knowing that our chief purpose in life is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.
Building a hymnbook in our heads is a great and almost forgotten spiritual discipline, and it’s a secret weapon of the soul. What bothers me deeply is that we’re now in an age in which worship songs are so fleeting and the lyrics are so disposable that no lasting imprints of meaning lyrics are being etched into the groves of our brains or into the minds of our children.
Losing our mental hymnals is a loss that cannot be calculated. So in this course I want to review the history of hymnody and introduce you to sixty hymns that are worth collecting in your mind. None of us can learn all these hymns at once—and you’ll certainly have your own favorites (both old and new) to add to the list. But worship and praise are lifelong pursuits, and mastering one hymn at a time is a wonderful adventure in setting our minds and hearts on things above.
This course isn’t about worship wars, but worship. I love much of our newer music and I’m in no mood to complain about it. Some of today’s lyrics are well worth adding to our personal collections. It’s just troubling that the Christian music industry is pushing songs past us so quickly that they pass like high-speed bullet trains. Before we internalize them, they’re obsolete. Let’s enjoy and retain some of today’s great music, but we also badly need the enduring music that will resonate in our minds like it has for generations leading up to ours. Colossians 3:16 says: Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.