One of the great things about studying theology is the variety of things that one gets to talk about and think about at college. A week ago, we had a talk on music in church. Of course the topic is enormous but the one thing that the speaker did that everyone really enjoyed was that he taught us a hymn. The hymn is called "There is a Hope" and the words are as follows;
that gives me strength for every passing day;
a glimpse of glory now revealed in meagre part,
yet drives all doubt away:
I stand in Christ, with sins forgiven;
and Christ in me, the hope of heaven!
My highest calling and my deepest joy,
to make His will my home.
There is a hope that lifts my weary head,
A consolation strong against despair,
That when the world has plunged me in its deepest pit,
I find the Saviour there!
Through present sufferings, future's fear,
He whispers 'courage' in my ear.
For I am safe in everlasting arms,
And they will lead me home.
There is a hope that stands the test of time,
That lifts my eyes beyond the beckoning grace,
To see the matchless beauty of a day divine
When I behold His face!
When sufferings cease and sorrows die,
And every longing satisfied.
Then joy unspeakable will flood my soul,
For I am truly home.
Not only are the words beautiful (I particularly like the third stanza), the tune was also really good. The other thing that I appreciated that was done, and the actual point of this post is that we were told that this hymn was released - much to the surprise of the less hymn inclined students - in 2007. So, along with the hymn, our speaker also pointed us to the following websites which I think will be of value to anyone looking for sound songs (sound musically and sound theologically) and even contemporary music;
- Resound Worship: A lot like Reformed Praise (I blogged about them a while ago) but musically they are higher quality; it's a group of people who discuss their songs and help each other to produce the best possible song (they even send the lyrics off to be theologically examined). The great part is that like Reformed Praise, they too are free!
- Kingsway Songs: The publisher who releases the Getty and Townend hymns (as well as others') unfortunately they're not free (except for random free sheet music downloads).
- Songs for Today: Also a group that seems to work together to produce good songs; free pdf downloads of the sheet music and sometimes a free mp3 to hear what the song is like.
- Musicademy: Unlike the other sites, this site offers resources to help train people to play instruments with Christian music explicitly in mind.
I should also add Worship Matters which is Bob Kauflin's blog (he's involved with Sovereign Grace Music), he sometimes points his readers to free downloads of songs. Of course, we can't overlook Reformed Praise which I mentioned in this post and much less Sovereign Grace Music.
I hope this stimulates you to glorify God with a joyful noise.