17th Sunday After Pentecost
Unifying Themes and Hymns:
463 Lord Speak to Me
Set Your Mind on God's Word
60 I'll Praise My Maker While I've Breath
|The Danger of Ignoring Wisdom's
The Foolishness of Complacency and Hate of Knowledge
Vindication of the Righteous Servant,
The Teachings of God Produce Steadfastness
God of Grace and God of Glory
500 Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart
211 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (vs.2,3,6,7)
142 If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee
293 Behold the Savior of Mankind
(use tune of 658)
||The Creating Word,
God's Law is Desireable
Deliverance from Death,
God Hears the Cry of the Afflicted,
|114 Many Gifts, One Spirit
Psalter 750, response 2 (alternate response: refrain of 601)
601 Thy Word is a Lamp
107 La Palabra Del Senor Es Recta
Psalter 837 response 1
529 How Firm a Foundation
649 How Shall They Hear the Word of God
|Mark 8:27-38||How to Follow the Teacher,
Jesus Bear the Cross Alone
415 Take Up Thy Cross
578 God of Love and God of Power
396 O Jesus, I Have Promised
398 Jesus Calls Us
|James 3:1-12||The Power of the Tongue,
Teachers Must be Careful What They Teach
Make of All Discples
596 Blessed Jesus, at Thy Words
649 How Shall They Hear the Word of God
The author of this text called it "A Worker's Prayer," and she first published under that title in 1872. Its intensely personal nature has been often noted as working against it as a useful hymn for public worship. However, given the lections for this date, there is probably no better hymn text that captures what the lessons are trying to get us consider. i.e., how important it is for Christian disciples to speak only after God has spoken to them and then to truly surrender to Christ and live according to what they profess. Thus, both a Christian's life and speech teach others.
Francis Havergal began writing poetry at age seven and continued writing for over thirty-five years. She had very delicate health and so was largely self-educated. She was proficient in Hebrew, Greek, French, German and Italian. She was a natural musician, had a pleasing and well-trained voice and was a sought-after concert pianist. And because she had a profound conversion experience in her early teens, she had a fundamentally religious set to her nature (her father was also a Presbyterian clergyman). She sang and played nothing but sacred music and used her gift of hymn writing to express her favorite themes of faith, consecration and service.
One could almost say that this hymn text is an intimate portrayal of Ms. Havergal's own life. Each of the five stanzas in the current United Methodist hymnal begins with a personal prayer asking God to speak to, strengthen, teach, fill and use her. The two omitted stanzas complete the prayer language of the hymn:
Oh, lead me Lord, that I may lead The wandering and the wavering feet; Oh, feed me, Lord, that I may feed Thy hungering ones with manna sweet.
O give Thine own sweet rest to me, That I may speak with soothing power A word in season, as from Thee, To weary ones in needful hour.
The hymn entered Methodist hymnody in 1901 and 1905 with five and six stanzas respectively. The 1935 edition omitted three of the original seven stanzas. The third stanza was restored in 1964, and yet another stanza was restored in the 1989 edition.
The tune is an adaptation of a classical piano piece, "Nachtstucke," Op. 23. No. 4, composed in 1839, by Robert Schumann.
Since the hymn is so personal and not often used in congregational singing, perhaps it could be included in a public worship service by having the musicians play through the all the stanzas, while worshippers silently read the words of the text to themselves as a prayer.
Return to top of page
Lection at HymnSite.com
Contributed by Rev. Linda K. Morgan-Clark
Proverbs: Use 211 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel vs. 2,3,6,7 with corresponding
antiphons before/between stanzas.
Isaiah: See Index listing, "Jesus Christ: Atonement" p.944; see also Hymns 278-301 (Passion and Death)
Psalm 19:See Index listing, "Creation" p.940;
Psalm 116:See Index listing, "Affliction and Tribulation" p.934; see also Hymns 509-536 (Strength & Tribulation)
See Index listing, "Discipleship and Service" p.940; "Jesus Christ: Example" p.944 (cf. Cross); see also Hymns 395-424 (Personal Holiness)
See Index listing, "Prayer for Illumination" p.951,"Church: Education" p.938; see also Hymns 594-603 (Holy Scripture)
|Scriptures suggested at this site for use throughout the year are taken directly from The Revised Common Lectionary. Copyright (c) 1992 by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P. O. Box 840, Room 381, Nashville, TN 37202-0840, USA. Used with Permission.|