Hymns are for old people – Right?
Well actually, the answer is no. Hymns are for everyone, regardless of their age, or the age that they were born into. Hymns are ageless, timeless treasures, and that’s why they still have so much to enrich our lives with, even now.
If they were written to help ordinary people understand theology – all about God – then we still need that today, and hymns still have great value for all ages – young and old.
If they were written with rich, poetic language – as many of them were – then we still need that today. Just as many people still love to read the classics: Jane Austen, Dickens, Wordsworth and Keats, so English language lovers of all ages will love the way things are expressed in the hymns.
If they were written, often based on a particular verse or account directly from the bible – then we still need those sorts of hymns today, based on the truth of scripture, and therefore they have the power to challenge us, inspire us, and encourage us as we sing.
If they have singable, memorable tunes with words that match beautifully and are easy to grasp once you get to the second verse – we still need that today so that everyone can participate, both old and young.
If there are no complicated bridges, intros and endings, but just verses and occasionally choruses interspersed, then this simplicity is perfect for all ages, and no one gets lost along the way.
If they have tunes that can be swapped around with different words and make it really refreshing and inspirational – that keeps them exciting and new and that’s wonderful for today too.
If they are mostly written about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and not about us and what we want and how we feel, then all generations really need those hymns. If we look to God, and focus on Him, and worship Him, He can help us. It is all about Him and not me.
If some of the hymns we sing have been around for over 300 years and haven’t died off yet, then they are certainly worth keeping, singing, and enjoying.
O for a thousand tongues to sing – Written in 1739
Holy, Holy, Holy – Written in 1826
To God be the glory – Written in 1875
The Comforter has come – Written in 1890
They are treasures to be enjoyed and embraced through all decades and centuries by all age groups, for all time.
Old fashioned and just for old people? I hope not