Over the years I have enjoyed collecting old hymn books. My oldest one goes back to the year 1848. I recently purchased another one off Ebay. It is “The Methodist Hymnal” from the late 1950's.
This particular hymnal has a name embossed on the front: Nancy Hult. The inside has an inscription: “To Nancy Hult upon her Confirmation in the Christian Faith and the First Methodist Church of Marquette, Michigan, from Robert Paul Ward. Holy Thursday, 1961.” That was 59 years ago.
I did a little research and found out that Rev. Ward passed away in May at the age of 92. That means that he was the pastor of the church in Marquette when he was 33 years old. He went on to serve numerous churches in Michigan, and was even nominated to be a bishop.
I just wonder what became of Nancy. She was confirmed in the faith as a young person. Did she stick with it? Did she remain a faithful member of the church? Is she still alive? How did her hymnal come to be sold on Ebay? Has she had a happy life?
The Apostle Paul said, “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.” (Romans 14:7) I will hold on to this hymnal during my own earthly journey. And when I look at it, it will make me think about Nancy, a child of God . . . and to wonder about her life.
You are invited to worship at First Methodist: Sundays, 9:00 & 11:00 AM Corner of Broad and Kirkman www.fumclc.org