27 January 2011

The Bible in a Year, Female Clergy, and 19th Century Hymns

If I had to sum up my semester (so far) in one word it would be...religion. I don't really consider myself a religious person -- for me, it's not about the religion, it's about a relationship with Jesus Christ. And it's about saving grace, through faith alone. This January, my knees hit the floor. The world was pulling me a long way from the faith of my youth. So I decided my relationship needed a little work. That's why I have made it my goal to read the Bible in a year -- thanks to Our Daily Bread Devotional. It's amazing the difference that five minutes can make.

I am also taking a class on religion in America. I was instantly enthralled in the readings, and I don't think I've ever been so excited about a research paper. This semester, I am going to be researching female clergy in 19th century minority religions and comparing them to those of the 20th century Protestant mainstream. I have already found some incredible stuff -- for example, one article from the 1870s talks about how the woman was not fit to be a minister because she tripped on her dress on the way up the pulpit!

All this religious fervor in my life has led me back to the old hymns. My all-time favorite is "Come Thou Fount" (Hence, the title of my blog). Perhaps the lyrics speak to my wanderlust, or maybe it's the promise that God will never leave us, but this words of this hymn have always been close to my heart. However, I also enjoy "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" because it reminds me of the peace and security that I have in God. And that He will never leave me. One of my new favorites is "On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand." It reminds me that this land is not my home, I'm just-a-passin' through. I especially like this version by the band Jars of Clay.

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