Plodding along in my series “Then Sings My Soul: The Hymns of My Youthâ€? brings us this week to “I Love to Tell the Story.” (We’re skipping number 10 to make up for the fact I inadvertently had two number 7’s.)

I Love to Tell the Story
I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.

I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me;
And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee.


I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.


I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.


This is from a po­em on the life of Je­sus writ­ten by Ka­ther­ine Hank­ey during 1866. The first of this two-part poem consists of fif­ty stan­zas, and is ti­tled, “The Sto­ry Want­ed,â€? (dat­ed Jan­u­a­ry 29). The hymn is based on the se­cond part, ti­tled “The Sto­ry Toldâ€? (dat­ed No­vem­ber 18). I recall this one from my younger years of course, and a sense of history that it gave me. As I think about it now, it seems to me that It’s got a way of instilling in kids the notion that this story of Jesus is part of a religious tradition handed down for generations… a timeless, treasured story that they get to hear and be entrusted with to pass along. This song does have appeal to kids, and it makes sense to me that it would help place them in context with the story, becoming part of it. Kids obviously like stories, and the song helps convey that this is no regular story like “Cinderella.” In those ways, I suppose it’d make a good emerging hymn… giving kids a sense of history is kind of ancient/future all on it’s own.

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