July 27 – Hymns Series

How Great Thou Art

This week I wanted to focus on the idea of flourishing in any circumstance. As much I’m sure we all love quick tips, self-help books, inspirational quotes, I sat in silence reminding myself that getting healthy, conquering negativity, standing in hope is made possible because of Jesus. Maybe that sounds cliché to you, or you don’t even know what that looks like, but I found it’s the basic element of surrender. I can’t become, without declaring I’m not the one that makes life happen.

I’d like to focus this week on how the quality of the words found in various hymns remind us that when we begin with Jesus, our minds are clear, our paths are light, and our ideas take flight. These hymns, are still a humble reminder that whatever we find ourselves worrying about, we can find in the peace- filled reminder of a song.

“Then I shall bow with humble adoration
And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art”

Growing up in a Christian tradition that sung old-English hymns every Sunday morning became dry week after week. What once bored me as a kid, smacked me in the face later in life- how these lyrics never left my mind.

The lyrics of How Great Thou Art originated in Sweden, written by Carl Boberg in 1886 a member of the Swedish Parliament at that time.

On writing the song:

“It was in 1885, and in the time of year when everything seemed to be in its richest coloring; the birds were singing in trees and wherever they could find a perch. On a particular afternoon, some friends and I had been to Kronobäck where we had participated in an afternoon service. As we were returning a thunderstorm began to appear on the horizon. We hurried to shelter. There were loud claps of thunder, and the lighting flashed across the sky. Strong winds swept over the meadows and billowing fields of grain. However, the storm was soon over and the clear sky appeared with a beautiful rainbow.”

“After reaching my home, I opened my window toward the sea. The church bells were playing the tune of a hymn. That same evening, I wrote a poem which I titled, ‘O Store Gud,’ (How Great Thou Art).”

How Great Thou Art is a beautiful reminder of the declaration of the power of God. I think that’s where we can begin.

“O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed”

The power, the wonder of God – we have that on our side, with us always. Submitting to this wonder, is where we can put our hope. God who created the stars, the sand, the forest, the human mind, reminds us of His greatness as we go about our scheduled lives.

A fresh reminder of this beautiful song can be found here.

“Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing. And gave it up. And took my old body and went out into the morning, and sang. – Mary Oliver

Further Reading:

“O Lord, how great are thy works!” – Psalm 92:5

5 Replies to “July 27 – Hymns Series”

  1. Good morning,

    “Praise and Glory to our Great God!” Oh what a wonderful song to start this brand new day., may it play over and over in our hearts and carry us through the day!

    Thank you & God bless!

  2. Thanks, I agree…these hymns are packed with powerful lyrics that really never leave my mind either. Love praising my Savior all the day long!

  3. I sadly miss the old hymns that I sang and worshiped God through for most of my life, up until about the last decade.
    As Bible verses come to mind when I ponder a topic,
    lines from hymns come unbidden and bring me closer to God.
    They often address the matter that I have been considering.
    It brings me a deep, spiritual connection with the Lord.

    I regret that many people never get to experience the depth of
    meaningful expression, wisdom, and comfort found in hymns.

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