Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost
|The righteous live by faith
Do the right thing
|142: If Thou But Suffer God
to Guide Thee
315: Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain
368: My Hope Is Built
671: Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing
|The Lord has told us what is right
The Lord, our hiding place
|361: Rock of Ages, Cleft
479: Jesus, Lover of My Soul
569: We've a Story to Tell to the Nations
|Luke 19:1-10||Salvation for the lost||369: Blessed
378: Amazing Grace
573: O Zion, Haste
|2 Thessalonians 1:1-4,11-12||Pray that you may be worthy, so that Christ will be glorified in you||297: Beneath the Cross of
325: Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus
|Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18||The kingdom is for the saints of the Lord||64: Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord
709: Come, Let Us Join Our Friends Above
718: Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending
|Psalm 149||The glory of His saints||702: Sing with All the Saints
720: Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying
|Luke 6:20-31||Rewards of the saints||723: Shall We Gather at the River|
|Ephesians 1:11-23||Love the saints||711: For All the Saints|
We are drawing to the close of the longest uninterrupted season of the church year--the "ordinary time" which follows Eastertide and Pentecost. The season also brings us to the end of one church year and the beginning of another. In many ways, the church year is structured as a journey through the stories of our faith. It seems very appropriate to me that as this journey through the year comes to a close, we should stop to remember those saints whose journey through life on earth has come to a close as well. And just as a new year will begin with Advent, the saints remembered today have entered a new beginning in the Spirit.
This week's featured hymn is sung in many churches on All Saints Day, and for good reason. Among all the hymns that have been written, this one truly focuses on and captures the "new commandment" given by Christ to His disciples in the upper room--the commandment that His people should love one another. In their days, the saints showed their love by lifting up Christ and everyone who is a part of His church. Today we can show our love by remembering their confessions, their commitment, their struggles, their victories, their glory. The fourth stanza really drives it home for me, though. "All are one in thee, for all are thine." Read words of this hymn, taking comfort in the love of Christ for you, and in the love of Christ's people for each other.
|1. For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
|2. Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
thou Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
thou in the darkness drear, their one true light.
|3. O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
and win with them the victor's crown of gold.
|4. O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
|5. And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
|6. From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost:
The words of this hymn were written by William W. How. William J. Reynolds shares this about the writer:
An Anglican clergyman, How was highly respected by his fellow ministers and the people to whom he ministered. During the years that he served in the English town of Whittington, a farming village on the Welsh border, How wrote 54 hymns. He felt that a hymn should be like a good prayer -- simple, earnest and reverent.
(William J. Reynolds, HISTORY OF HYMNS: Hymn walks through faith's 'hall of fame', http://www.umr.org/SFhym911.htm).
Ralph Vaughn Williams, who wrote the tune most often sung with this hymn, is among the best and most loved composers of the past 150 years. His works that appear in The United Methodist Hymnal include tunes and arrangements for Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones, I Sing the Almighty Power of God, Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life, All Praise to Thee, for Thou, O King Divine, O Sing a Song of Bethlehem, To Mock Your Reign, O Dearest Lord, Come Down, O Love Divine, O Spirit of the Living God, Whom Shall I Send?, Bless Thou the Gifts, Come, Let Us Use the Grace Divine, Now Let Us from This Table Rise, God Be with You till We Meet Again, Come, Let Us Join Our Friends Above, and (of course) For All the Saints.
Rejoice in the love of Christ. Rejoice in the love of Christ's people for each other. Rejoice and sing "Alleluia!"
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.|