I do not know where I fit, religion-wise. I feel sometimes I have walked so long in the darkness that God has stopped looking for me. (Note to my more faith-filled friends: please don’t tell me how wrong I am. I know what doctrine says. This is how I feel.)
That said, I think hymns can be life-affirming and comforting. I have an entire playlist called “Spiritual,” and while it has a lot of secular music, it also includes “Be Thou My Vision,” “Seek Ye First,” and the sublime Cat Stevens version of “Morning had Broken.” My favorite Christmas songs are religious: “Angels we Have Heard on High,” “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” and especially “What Child Is This?”
I have a new hymn: Jordan Smith’s version of “Great is Thy Faithfulness” from his performance on The Voice. His a cappella opening gives me chills. (Note: on his studio version, Smith accompanies himself on piano the entire song. It’s still really good.)
Although the fact-checkers on the show need to do a better job: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” was written by Thomas O. Chisolm in 1923,. not by Selah.