Get in marching formation; join the ranks; journey to Zion, “the beautiful city of God!” The old hymn “Marching to Zion” is a standard and I found an uplifting message as I read it this morning in my quiet time with the Lord. A loving niece, Jennifer knows I collect old hymnals and gave me a birthday gift of “Christ in Song,” published in 1908 by F.E. Belden.
Scripture verses precede many of the selected hymns. The text corresponds to the hymn theme, adding to the worship experience. I take note of the hymn writer’s names and the date they had the song published. I delight in the wording of masters under direction of the Master. Isaac Watts and Robert Lowry shared the honor of writing “Marching to Zion.”
I noticed a simple word of instruction for those planning to sing the song. The word is spirited. Writers or editors directed singers to proclaim the message with enthusiasm, praise and joy. It is not a funeral dirge; it is a victory march to our final destination! “We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good; for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel (Numbers 10:29b KJV).”