Suggested Hymns

Second Sunday During Lent

March 8, 1998

Unifying Theme:
Stand firm with confidence in the Lord;
He has a wonderful gift for you.

Kingdom and kingdoms
Temptation:
THE KINGDOM
-or-
the kingdoms
Scripture Theme Hymns
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18 You can be sure of God's wonderful gift for you 336: Of All the Spirit's Gifts to Me
408: The Gift of Love
Psalm 27 Be strong, take heart and wait for the LORD 118: The Care the Eagle Gives Her Young
169: In Thee Is Gladness
Luke 13:31-35

or

Luke 9:28-36

God will do His work in His time

or

Listen to God's messenger

130: God Will Take Care of You
210: Toda la Tierra (All Earth Is Waiting)
Philippians 3:17-4:1 Stand firm in the Lord 110: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
132: All My Hope Is Firmly Grounded
331: Holy Spirit, Come, Confirm Us
529: How Firm a Foundation

Featured Hymn
I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord

Words by Timothy Dwight
Music by Aaron Williams
Tune name: ST. THOMAS

Luke recounts one of Christ's temptations this way:

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours." Jesus answered, "It is written: `Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'"

The devil didn't say, "Pick one of these kingdoms." He didn't say, "Take some of these kingdoms." He said "all their authority and splendor." Wow! But unlike the other temptations, this time the devil came right to the point. There were strings attached, and the devil laid it on the line--the deal was offered only "if you worship me." Christ's response was quick and clear. It was a matter of allegiance to a master, and in such matters there is only one answer. Serve God. That is it. It ends with a period. There is no more to say.

Such devotion and dedication can exist only when our focus and our values are clear. This week's featured hymn was written by Timothy Dwight, a grandson of Jonathan Edwards, one of the most famous preachers of the Great Awakening in 18th century America. The hymn is a clear example of the kind of focus on THE KINGDOM that should be shared by all Christians. There may be kingdoms, authority, and splendor offered to us. But if attaining them costs our service to God, then the price is simply too high.

There is a good discussion of this hymn posted by the United Methodist Reporter, and another excellent biography of Timothy Dwight appears at http://www.luminet.net/~irv/hymns/hymn-36.htm. Important to this discussion is Dwight's commitment to ministry throughout his life. In success, in leadership, in war, in hardship, and in pain, his life was an example of commitment and devotion for service to God. May we all follow the example of Christ with such passion and constant commitment.

God bless you--
Lection at HymnSite.com


Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.