#SundaySounds: How Great Thou Art
"How Great Thou Art" is a Christian hymn based on a Swedish traditional melody and a poem written by Carl Boberg (1859–1940) in Mönsterås, Sweden, in 1885. It was translated into German and then into Russian.
The inspiration for the poem came when Boberg was walking home from church near Kronobäck, Sweden, and listening to church bells. A sudden storm got Boberg’s attention, and then just as suddenly as it had made its appearance, it subsided to a peaceful calm which Boberg observed over Mönsterås Bay.
Stuart K. Hine was a British Methodist missionary on a mission trip in Ukraine in 1931 when he heard the Russian translation of a German song inspired by Carl Boberg's poem "O Store Gud" (O Great God). Hine began to translate the song to English and added several verses. The third verse was inspired by the conversion of villagers in Russia who cried out to God loudly as the repented and realized God's love and mercy - "And when I think that God, His Son not sparing, sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in."
Stuart Hine and his family left Ukraine as famine and World War Two began, and settled in Somerset, Britain where he continued to serve as a missionary to Polish refugees. The fourth verse of "How Great Thou Art" was inspired by displaced Russians who experienced great loss and looked forward to seeing their loved ones again in heaven - "When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation to take me home, what joy shall fill my heart."
The final English version of "How Great Thou Art" was published in 1949 and quickly spread among Britain, Africa, India and America.
I am always open to suggestions for songs to be used, as well as other suggestions you might have for the blog. If you would rather not share that info in the comments, you may email your suggestions.