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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Sunday, September 12, 2010

O Lord, Where is the Lyre

[David plays his lyre for King Saul.
Double-click to enlarge]
O Lord, where is the lyre
David played for Saul
that took his feet to higher
ground and assuaged all
the anguish of a daunting day?
Too heedless are the drums
of hardened hide at play,
too shrill the sound that comes
from strands, wired to the mind
but not the soul.
Such strident jangling cannot find
the harmony or words to fill the hole
His parting left on earth.
O send again the psalmist chord
to lift Your Word and proclaim the birth,
the cross, the rising and return…
of our Lord.
© Copyright  2010 Tom Kapanka/ Patterns of Ink

In the previous post, I mentioned that my parents enjoyed the great old hymns of the faith. Through many years of singing along side Mom and Dad in church and around our piano at home, we children grew to love the old hymns, too.

The hymns I speak of are not "good" because they are old, they are now old because they were good--because they put Truth to music and help focus the minds of those who sang upon that truth. That is why they were sung for more than a hundred years. I could list the scores of hymns that meet this test--and explain why not all of the old church songs measure up--but my purpose here is simply to say that I'm glad young Christians are once again breathing new life into old hymns.  This past week around a campfire, I heard a young worship leader explain the word ebenezer to a group of teens as they sang "Come Thou Fount." The exchange between him and the young people reminded me of Still Waters Chapter Seven, which I'm pretty sure the leader had never read.  [Good job, Jer.]

I'm equally pleased that in recent years some great new hymns have been written that rise above the 7-11 choruses that peppered the turn of the 21st Century. (By 7-11, I mean those congregational songs that seemed like seven words repeated eleven times. Such songs were fine, I suppose, to season the Praise meal, but they lacked the meat to be a meal themselves.)

The new songs I'm referring to have been called "modern hymns" in that they reflect the substance of the great hymns that stood the test of time through centuries of congregational worship across many post-Reformation Christian denominations.

One of these modern hymns will be ten years old next year and I hope churches will be singing if for decades to come:  In Christ Alone, by Keith & Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend.

Here is another written by the same trio: The Power of the Cross.



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