In 2014, the First Hymn Experience was held at Kampala Serena Hotel and it was filled to capacity. It had Acappella groups, choirs, Church leaders and the audience singing those hymns we all love. Well, in 2016 we have another Hymn Experience with Nakie Julian who is famous for her Omukwano Gwa Yesu single and rendition of the Ugandan hymn, Tukutendereza. The event will still take place on March 26th at Kampala Serena Hotel. Gates open at 6pm.
It is documented that John Newton, a slave trader wrote the words of the Amazing Grace hymn on a ship with slaves in it. The origin of the music and tune could have been from an African slave humming away as they saw their life drift from comfort to insecurity, loss and despair. It coincided with the rescue of John Newton’s wretched sinful life. God orchestrated this. In that moment, the melody from a hopeless slave (referred to as unknown) and the hope and forgiveness experienced by a repentant sinner (John Newton) collided.
Charlotte Elliott on the other hand, was an English poet and hymn writer. It is written of her that, “At an early age, Charlotte began to be aware of her sinful nature and of her importance to resist sin’s enticements.” Like many of us who became conscious of our sinful nature at an early age, the only hope is Christ. Charlotte is known for the Hymn Just As I Am. This one has been widely popular when evangelical preachers are giving altar calls. To some, this hymn has been a constant reminder that, no matter how far we stray, we can never be beyond salvation and God’s love.
Hymns have been a part of Christianity since time memorial. They hold a part in our history. When the missionaries brought the Gospel to Africa, they introduced hymns, some of which has been translated to the local dialects. Some of these hymns inspired what is commonly known as afrospirituals. Hymns unite us in celebration of our faith and the trump of Jesus Christ, God’s son. In Him we have Blessed Assurance. Ephesians 5:18 – 19 says,
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
When some of you hear about things like The Hymn Experience, you envision secondary school, Anglican or Roman Catholic churches and hymn books. Others, the new generation youth picture acoustic versions of these songs and their adaptation in modern-day worship music. Of recent, many musicians have taken it upon themselves to compose modern-day hymns. Songs like Victor’s Crown from Darlene Zschech’s Revealing Jesus come into our mind as a modern-day.
The beauty of hymns is it’s ability to take you on a corporate worship experience. Most of these songs are easy to sing along. It is also a chance to just sit with other believers and sing together.
March the 26th will give you a chance to experience this and more. Kampala Serena Hotel is the place to be at 6:00pm on the event day.