It’s true, and we all know it. Everybody has a favorite hymn. “Earth and All Stars” or “Rock of Ages” or (for you Lost & Found fans) “The Church’s One Foundation” are just a few that get picked pretty regularly. But does anybody you know have a favorite verse in a hymn? Well, I have two.
Now that might sound a little strange, perhaps even silly. But I’ve found over the years that I’m drawn to two different verses from hymns in the hymnal. And I think that’s a good thing. Because these are the verses I hear in my head when the world is turning sour, or I’m in a bad mood, or I just need something to think about while I waiting in line at the grocery store. Inevitably, one of these two verses will pop into my head during one of those situations, and I get to turn the words over as I hum the tune and think about what they mean to me.
The first, and probably the one I think about most, is the second verse of “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”
“With might of ours can naught be done, Soon were our loss effected; But for us fights the valiant One, Whom God Himself elected. Ask ye, Who is this? Jesus Christ it is, Of Sabaoth Lord, And there’s none other God; He holds the field forever.”
Or in another way: “We cannot win over sinfulness, no matter how strong we are. We are lost to death. But the valiant One comes from God for us. And who is this, you ask? It is JESUS CHRIST! The Son of the Living God! And there is no other Lord in heaven or on earth. He will win for us eternally! Amen.”
The other verse is the third of “Hark, the Voice of Jesus Crying.” This is the verse which makes me stop and consider the most. I find myself thinking this one over, wondering about the plans God has for me, curious if I will be faithful to the calling of God, whatever it is.
“If you cannot be a watchman, Standing high on Zion’s wall, Pointing out the path to heaven, Offering life and peace to all, With your prayers and with your bounties You can do what God commands; You can be like faithful Aaron, Holding up the prophet’s hands.”
This is also my favorite hymn. What’s yours?