Hymns That Linger

I will sing and make music to the Lord.
                       —Psalm 27:6

Every week some hymn takes up residence in my mind and plays over and over. Occasionally I try to mute it, but for the most part, it is a welcome guest that enriches my day.

I doubt that my Sunday sermons have remained long in congregants’ minds—but Sunday’s hymns have.

Hardly anyone these days reads Martin Luther’s writings—but we all sing Luther’s hymn:

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.

Except for a few seminarians, almost no one reads John Wesley’s sermons today. But we all sing Wesley’s hymns: Christ the Lord is Risen Today; Soldiers of Christ Arise; Jesus, Lover of My Soul; Love Divine, All Love Excelling.

Hymns linger long after the sermon has ended.

Remembrance of the words of a hymn learned in childhood
has often turned a prodigal’s steps toward home.

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