How Big is Your God?
|698 God of the Ages
152 I Sing the Almighty Power of God
148 Many and Great
122 God of the Sparrow
73 O Worship the King
289 Ah, Holy Jesus
286 O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
165 Hallelujah! What a Savior
104:1-9, 24, 35c
|God, the Creator;
"The Lord God Made them All"
God, Our Refuge
God is With Us
|Psalter 826, (alt. response Hymn 123)
144 This is My Father's World
147 All Things Bright and Beautiful
92 For the Beauty of the Earth
Psalter 810 (see comments for alternate response)
110 A Mighty Fortress is Our God
66 Praise My Soul the King of Heaven
126 Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above
529 How Firm a Foundation
|Mark 10:35-45||True Greatness (see also Aug. 21);
How Not to be Served
166 All Praise to Thee, for Thou, O King Divine
396 O Jesus, I Have Promised
||Efficacy of Jesus' Suffering;
Jesus: Wounded Healer
Thou Once Despised Jesus
306 The Strife is O'er, the Battle Done
257 We Meet You, O Christ
425 O Crucified Redeemer
Written by the well-known Methodist educator, Dr. Earl Marlatt, "Are ye Able" is taken directly from the Gospel lection of Proper 24, even though Dr. Marlatt's own explanation of the genesis of the hymn draws on the Johannine description of Jesus' disciples jockeying for status. Dr. Marlatt was a student at Boston University School of Theology in the 1920's, and wrote the hymn for a Consecration Service at the seminary in 1926. He originally gave it the name "Challenge."
The writing of this hymn is an instance where the tune helped to write the text. Dr. Marlatt, himself relates the story: Harry Wright, a fellow student at the seminary wrote a text to enter into a school contest which he wanted to set to a tune he half remembered from his childhood. Harry Mason took the basic theme of the tune Wright hummed and developed it into a full-blown melody. But, the song did not get much attention in the contest. Prof. Marlatt, who had overheard the whole song-making process in the dormitory where he was head resident, was particularly disappointed in the outcome of the contest. Later the next Spring he had cause to remember the whole scenario. This is when he was asked to write a hymn for the consecration of the officers of the Student Association at the School of Religious Education. He found that the expression, "Are ye able," from a sermon he had preached fit exactly the first measure of Wright's text and tune. After that the music "miraculously seemed to suggest the words until the whole hymn was finished in a single evening."
Dr. Marlatt, had a long and distinguished career in the higher education insitutions of Methodism. He was at Boston University, holding a variety of academic positions, from 1925-1945. From 1946-1957 he was professor of philosopy of religion and religious literature at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. There a small chapel off the sanctuary of the main chapel is named in his memory. Following his retirment, he was curator of the Treasure Room and Hymn Museum in New York City and remained active in his love of hymnology until his death.
This author remembers but few of the preachers who preached to the seminarians at Perkins School of Theology, while she was in attendance there. There is one, however, who is remembered because he chose to answer honestly the question asked by Marlatt's hymn when he preached from Mk: 10:35-40. He said that he could not say he was "able" in the robust manner the hymn suggests, but he knew that he must do all that he could to struggle with the question's implications and the hymn's unhesitating affirmation of the true meaning of discipleship. Thanks to that sermon, this writer seldom can sing this hymn without remembering the implications of the question. Perhaps Dr. Marlett's original title is the more appropriate one after all.
Return to top of page
Lection at HymnSite.com
Contributed by Rev. Linda K. Morgan-Clark
Additional Suggestions for Old Testament Lections
Job: See Index listing "Creation" p.940; see also Hymns 144-152
Psalm 104: See Job above; see also Hymns 57-101 (Praise and
Additional Suggestions for Gospel Lesson
See Index listing, "Discipleship and Service" p.940, "Commitment" p. 939
See Isaiah above
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.