Suggested Hymns

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

July 19, 1998
Proper 11(16)

Unifying Theme:
Welcome the Lord; share with the needy; feast on the Gospel story.

Scripture Theme Hymns
Amos 8:1-12
Genesis 18:1-10a
Judgment against those who oppress the needy
Blessings on those who welcome the Lord
339: Come, Sinners, to the Gospel Feast
427: Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life
Psalm 52
Psalm 15
In evil there is nothing to boast
The blameless live with God
298: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
299: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
420: Breathe on Me, Breath of God
Luke 10:38-42 Don't worry so much. Enjoy the Lord 399: Take My Life, and Let It Be
559: Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation
Colossians 1:15-28 Christ, the firstborn over creation 363: And Can It Be that I Should Gain

Featured Hymn
Come, Sinners, to the Gospel Feast

Hymn #339
Words by Charles Wesley
Music from Katholisches Gesangbuch; adapt. from Metrical Psalter
Tune Name: HURSLEY

How many stories about sharing meals and hospitality are in the Bible? The Lord appeared to Abraham, and Abraham shared a meal. Christ visited the home of Mary and Martha, and Martha prepared a meal (while Mary sat at Jesus' feet!). On and on it goes. It seems that people who recognized God invited Him to share nourishment and fellowship.

It isn't a one-way street, though. God created the Garden of Eden to nurture His creation, and to have a place of fellowship. When Elijah ran from Jezebel, God served a meal to nourish him, and then had fellowship on the mountain. The Psalmist writes of having a table set before him by God. The woman at the well sought water, and Christ filled her with living water. When Christ prepared for his trial and crucifixion with His disciples, they shared the meal that we remember today in the Lord's Supper.

Still today, Christ continues to invite us to His table. But where do we find it? Do we provide a table like Abraham, or like Martha? Or do we go to the table prepared by the Lord? Is one better than the other? Can we serve this meal to Christ by serving it to others? Do we accept it from Christ when we dine with others?

Perhaps Charles Wesley pondered over some of the same questions before he wrote this week's featured hymn, Come, Sinners, to the Gospel Feast. Take a minute to read the words:

1. Come, sinners, to the gospel feast;
let every soul be Jesus' guest.
Ye need not one be left behind,
for God hath bid all humankind.

3. Come, all ye souls by sin oppressed,
ye restless wanderers after rest;
ye poor, and maimed, and halt, and blind,
in Christ a hearty welcome find.

2. Sent by my Lord, on you I call;
the invitation is to all.
Come, all the world! Come, sinner, thou!
All things in Christ are ready now.

4. My message as from God receive;
ye all may come to Christ and live.
O let his love your hearts constrain,
nor suffer him to die in vain.

5. This is the time, no more delay!
This is the Lord's accepted day.
Come thou, this moment, at his call,
and live for him who died for all.

This is clearly a hymn of invitation, calling sinners to come to Christ's table. All are invited. Everything is ready. There is enough for all, and everyone is welcome. And one thing is quite clear--Christ presides over all.

What is your role at the Gospel Feast? Are you coming for the first time? Are you serving? Are you inviting? We all have a place. We can all partake. We can be like Mary. We can all share Christ.

God bless you--

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.