I am a conservative, because I believe some things are worth conserving. Like hymns that speak of faith in God, faith that carries us through this ever darker world. These hymns, passed down, remind us of God’s eternal verities–the same though heaven and earth pass away — and they lift us out of ourselves to look up at Jesus.
Our Savior doesn’t evolve, he doesn’t change with the times. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Things are getting darker around us in this world, but that only means that the light of our Savior shines brighter.
I was looking for a recording of Beautiful Savior earlier, and heard many beautiful contemporary arrangements of it. Then I heard this one, and it caused me to stop. Out of the past, 1941, these voices from St. Olaf’s rose up and turned my heart to praise. This is the signature piece the college has used for their well known Christmas programs that air on PBS. But this 1941 version has something in it that I love. For once, I can’t put it into words exactly.
The first verse is just humming the familiar old melody, then the female soloist, then the choir. These choral students who recorded this so long ago never dreamed someone would be listening in 2016, but their gifts bring a blessing all these years later, because they sing of the beauty of our Savior whose light never dims.
Fair are the meadows,
Fair are the woodlands,
Robed in flowers of blooming spring;
Jesus is fairer,
Jesus is purer;
He makes our sorrowing spirit sing.
Lord of the nations,
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor,
Now and forevermore be Thine!