Planning for our August 26th worship service (theme: Growing Older) made me start thinking of older hymns and memories of songs that older Christians love to sing.
One of my dad's all-time favorite songs is "It Is Well With My Soul." Dad would get up to lead it, announce the number, pinch his pointer finger and thumb together (other three fingers extended), smile across the crowd, and start it.
At this point, as a teenager, I would shrink down about three inches into my seat and hold my songbook in front of my face. You see, Dad would get to the second and third verses and be practically yelling the words as he waved his arms (and most of his body) in gigantic circles. The other kids would smile as they glanced at my blushing face, but were mostly glued to the action up front. Later in life, I would discover why...
My parents came to visit me when I was the youth minister in Ponca City, OK. One particular Sunday night, we had a 5th Sunday singing, where the podium was open for any man who wanted to lead a song or two. Of course, my dad could not let such an invitation go unanswered, so as he strode up to the front, I knew what was coming.
"Turn to number four-hundred and ninety. Four. Nine. Zero."
The smile came and the hand went up, but this time I didn't bury my face in my songbook. I watched my father lead a song that was dear to his heart.
As he came to the second verse, he sang as LOUD as possible, waving his arms back and forth to emphasize the words. And during that moment, I heard these words that I had heard all my life, but never really noticed...
My sin, o the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part, but the whole
Is nailed to the cross
And I bear it no more
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, o my soul!
As Dad yelled/sang these words, my voice cracked and I put my hands over my face to hide the tears. Now that life wasn't about me and my embarassment, I understood my dad a little better...especially why he liked that song so much.
What about you? Anyone have funny or fond memories of an older Christian and an old song that they LOVED to sing?