Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
|Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)||Holy fasting, not just going hungry||395: Take Time to Be
436: The Voice of God Is Calling
500: Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart
|Psalm 112:1-9 (10)||Blessings to those who fear the Lord||374: Standing on the
662: Stand Up and Bless the Lord
|Matthew 5:13-20||Salt and light; honor God's law||440: Let There Be
635: Because Thou Hast Said
|1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16)||Wisdom comes from the Spirit||332: Spirit of Faith,
475: Come Down, O Love Divine
Motives. Whether or not we acknowledge them, we have them. Love. Acceptance. Profit. Greed. Glory. You can name your own set of motives. You have yours. I have mine.
The lectionary readings this week talk of fasting and shining a light. Why would we fast? For strife and debate, or to undo heavy burdens? Why would we shine a light? To glorify ourselves, or to glorify God? We know what the answers to these questions should be. Do we choose the right paths?
This week's featured hymn was written by James Montgomery. A journalist by profession, he also authored many hymns and advocated many causes. His hymns and journalistic pieces reflected his motivations. He opposed slavery and promoted democracy. His editorials were so impassioned that they landed him in prison sometimes, leading to the publication of Prison Amusements, a pamphlet of poems that he wrote one time while he was incarcerated.
Stand Up and Bless the Lord was originally prepared for children to observe the anniversary of the Red Hill Wesleyan Sunday School, but has been used for the entire body of the church for nearly two centuries because of its boldness and clear focus on the core motivation for Christian worship: bless the Lord! Consider Montgomery's motives-- and your own--as you read the words of this hymn.
|1. Stand up and bless the Lord,
ye people of his choice;
stand up and bless the Lord your God
with heart and soul and voice.
|2. Though high above all praise,
above all blessing high,
who would not fear his holy name,
and laud and magnify?
|3. O for the living flame
from his own altar brought,
to touch our lips, our minds inspire,
and wing to heaven our thought!
|4. God is our strength and song,
and his salvation ours;
then be his love in Christ proclaimed
with all our ransomed powers.
God bless you--
Lection at HymnSite.com
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.|