Friday, December 3, 2010

The Best 10 Hymns

During our car ride to Asheville, we listened to Roseanne Cash's The List, a wonderful CD. Cash tells the story of travelling with her dad, the incredibly Johnny Cash, and he mentioned a classic country song that she didn't know. He mentioned another--she didn't know it. He made a list of the most important 100 songs for her to know. For years, she hung on to the list, learning about the songs, but never recording them. Now, she's recorded a selection--and what a glorious recording it is.

One thing I love about a long car trip is the opportunity for deep and rich conversation. My spouse and I started wondering what kind of list we'd compile if asked for the most important hymns.

Here's my challenge to you: if you were starting a church or heading off to colonize a planet, and you could only have 10 songs/hymns, what would you choose?

To me, this is a more interesting question than what we first started discussing. We began with the hymns that have been most personally important to us. We quickly moved to which hymns have the most valid theology, which are the most important to the life of the Church, which give the most comfort, which hymns are the best teacher.

I don't really have a list ready yet. I meant to ask my question as a question for my relatives to ponder and compile, but I forgot. I plan to write an e-mail to ask them. I come from Lutherans who have spent many decades in church, singing the best of the best and the worst of the worst.

I'd be interested in hearing from readers too. If I was a new Christian, what hymns would you give me? If you come from a different religious faith, feel free to play along!

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