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(A VISION FOR CHRISTIAN SONG, by Ken Bible; p.48)

Jesus is fairer;

Jesus is purer,

Who makes the woeful heart to sing!

After several hours he was rescued by a destroyer escort. The skipper said that in the darkness,

he had found Melvin because he heard him singing.

Such stories remind me that we didn’t get here alone. We didn’t earn the right to live in this

country, worship in our beautiful, well-equipped churches, and enjoy such rich hymns. All these

were gifts, a priceless inheritance received from so many who have gone before us. We

cannot…we must not…ignore such a heritage. We cannot squander our inheritance and fail to

pass it on to the next generation.

When you hold a hymnal, do you know what you have in your hands? It is the world’s greatest

treasury of worship and devotion, outside the sacred scriptures themselves. In it you’ll hear the

heart of the Psalmist, the faith of the early church fathers, the powerful witness of Martin Luther,

John and Charles Wesley, the blind Fanny Crosby, and hundreds of others. Countless believers

have sung these hymns and lovingly memorized them, finding them true to scripture and

experience. They lived with these hymns and died with them, carefully passing them on to their

children.

As each generation discarded some hymns and embraced others, the hymns in your hands

were chosen and treasured, century after century. What an incredible gift! What a precious

legacy has been lovingly placed in our hands by the generations of believers gone before us!

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