(RE)Tune – Page CXVI (or 116)

Posted: 01/04/2011 in (Re)Tune, Personal Walk

As a little kid going to church I remember a transition that took place when the hymnal was replaced with the almighty transparency (umm… think a manual form of powerpoint). I thought it was a good thing… no, a great thing. For all I cared, all of the songs in that book seemed really old, and old always is replaced with the newer and brighter: its the American way.

By God’s grace as I became a Christian in college I started reading the lyrics of songs like: “Come Thou Fount”, “Be Thou My Vision” and “In Christ Alone” and I realized the value of these fundamentally-weighty and doctrinally-grounding songs and how amazingly they were fashioned for the proclaimation and worship of God. In an age of Tomlin, Crowder, Hall and Redman (who I enjoy in their own right) there are numerous new anthems and songs of praise, but I would make an arguement that these songs have persisted because they are, on so many levels, REALLY GOOD.

Hymns III – full album

If you find that the aesthetic of the organ and four part harmony keep these songs at a distance for you, PLEASE check out Page CXVI. Hymns I, II & III have solidly been on the top of the list of most played albums, followed by the other projects (something I might talk about later) from this ensemble.

What so solidly grips me about these albums, and Page CXVI, is that these songs are taken seriously.  I have often said that familiarity can breed infamiliarity, and sadly with age many of these songs are sung on mental, emotional, musical and spiritual auto-pilot.

While not on this album, the song “Joy” from the first album (Hymns I) brings a song that is often campy, at best, and presents it with the grounding of “How and why do you respond with sincere joy when the winds and waves are crashing against you?” and it also lovingly invites us to see the glory of God and find that it “Is Well With My Soul.”

If it is true that “God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, and whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16) and that it is also true when Jesus said: “Now this is eternal life that men may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” then these albums humbly invite you to know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He sent. While this is online I challenge you take the time to listen, to pull up the lyrics and to enjoy these amazing songs of worship.

UPDATE: I was able to find an online copy of Joy

  1. david johnson says:

    agreed mike! Page CXVI is amazing and I love how they are able to remain 21st century at the same time representing songs 20-30-50-100+ years old!!

    • Mike Hagedon says:

      Hymn texts may well be unsurpassed in their beauty and devotional substance. Thanks for pointing out a group I wasn’t aware of!

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