The “hymn” is a literary form, not a musical style. It is a poetic form of praise to God. The Bible has many of them, some of which are imbedded in the text. This week I am thinking about the fruit of the spirit translated “gentleness” or “humility”. the same word is used in the Sermon on the Mount as “blessed are the meek.”
What has come to mind are several “hymns” or “songs” in scripture. The thing is these Hymns may have been said, not sung. Just as our hymn books (if you remember those) contain words in meter that can be sung to a variety of tunes. One fun exercise with a hymn book is to find the meter of the hymn (eg. 8888) and try it with another melody that has the same pattern. for fun, try singing “Amazing Grace” to the tune of “the House of the Rising Sun”. Back when I was in a youth group we did that.
We are having a hymn sing at Bethany this Sunday, so the sermon this week will be based on 3 “hymns” that operate on the theme of gentleness/humility.
Isaiah 41:1-4(12 verses in 3 stanzas that don’t quite match the verses) how the Servant will come gently to redeem.
Isaiah 42:1–4 (ESV)
42 Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
3 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 He will not grow faint or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law.
Luke 1:46-55 – the Magnificat and it’s theme of God casting down the proud and exalting the humble.
Luke 1:46–55 (ESV)
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
Phil 2:6-11 – where Paul used and possibly tweaked an existing “hymn” of the early church to teach us about humility by imitation of Christ.
Philippians 2:6–11 (ESV)
6 who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7
but made himself nothing,
taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in human form,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
If I add Romans 12:9-21 the Sermon could be titled “Three Hymns and a List of 21”. Methinks that is too much to digest on one Sunday in July.