In this recent column I wrote for The Presbyterian Outlook, I talked about the ways in which we Christians learn theology through the words of hymns.
Haldor Lillenas, who wrote some 4,000 hymn texts and tunes, mostly as a member of the Nazarene denomination, was born in Norway on this date in 1855 but came to the U.S. as a child.
Samuel J. Stone, an Anglican priest who published five collections of hymns, died on this date in 1900. A hymn he wrote that's still popular today is "The Church's One Foundation."
And Arthur H. Mann, an English church organist who composed the tune used for "O Jesus, I Have Promised," died on this date in 1929.
But understand that we need not rely completely on hymns written long ago. Hymn writers still are at it today. This past Sunday, for instance, my congregation sang "As a Chalice Cast of Gold," by Tom Troeger, who a few years ago my congregation invited in as a speaker. It's a gorgeous hymn I love to sing.
And some weeks before that we sang a trinitarian hymn for which I wrote the words.
So because music touches us in a way almost nothing else does, hats off today to the writers of hymn texts and tunes.
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A SAME-SEX FAMILY DISPUTE
Have I ever disagreed with any of my three sisters on anything? Of course. That's what brothers are for. But if you are Dick Cheney's daughters and have a disagreement, you can expect the world to know about it. Now Mary and Liz are scrapping over same-sex marriage. I'm guessing father Dick does what I do when my own daughters start to argue -- relocate to an undisclosed location.