“Praising God in song is the only earthly activity in which we will continue to engage after our time on earth is done. So we really ought to learn how to do it right.”
There is nothing like robust, exuberant, Spirit-filled hymn singing to bring tears of joy to this organist. Yesterday, the congregation of the small church I serve lifted their voices in glorious praise as they joyfully sang “All Creatures of Our God and King;” years ago I had the thrill of accompanying 400 men as they opened a Christmas service singing “Joy to the World;” at a revival meeting I counted verses as I played while the congregation lustily sang “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” in Korean; in Columbo, Sri Lanka I joined the congregation enthusiastically singing, “Majesty;” after hearing an incredible organ introduction, the congregation and I sang “Lobet den Herrn” acapella in German with the Stadtkirche congregation in Bielefeld, Germany.
I grew up singing and playing hymns. “How Great Thou Art,” “Are Ye Able,” and “For All the Saints,” were family favorites. Spirit-filled family hymn singing on Sunday afternoons in the Zielke household was not uncommon. Playing hymns is the most treasured and pleasing part of my church work and something I cherish sharing with each congregation I serve.