Sixth Sunday after Epiphany
|Choose good, choose blessing, choose life||129: Give to the Winds
399: Take My Life, and Let It Be
|Psalm 119:1-8||Blessings in the ways of the Lord||277: Tell Me the Stories
384: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
395: Take Time to Be Holy
|Matthew 5:21-37||Do good; shun evil||110: A Mighty Fortress
Is Our God
410: I Want a Principle Within
|1 Corinthians 3:1-9||That which is good comes from God||67: We, Thy People, Praise
152: I Sing the Almighty Power of God
369: Blessed Assurance
400: Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
698: God of the Ages
The lectionary passages this week talk about choices. Life and good are connected, so choosing good is choosing life. Death and evil are connected, so choosing evil is choosing death. Death is a sobering message, but life is a message filled with hope and joy. One more question: do you choose life or death?
As serious as this sounds, it is this choice that we face every year, every month, and every day. And we make our choices frequently without even thinking about them. What a wondrous thing it is that every good choice leads to life. And oh, what a terrifying thing it is to know that every evil choice leads to death. When we ponder the eternal significance of our choices, both to ourselves and to those around us, may we always be inspired to choose life.
Frances Havergal lived in England during the 19th century. The daughter of an Episcopal minister, she was raised knowing the joy of the Lord. She was a gifted singer and pianist, and she used her gifts exclusively in ministry. Her letters and journals are replete with one example after another of sharing her gifts, witnessing to the lost, encouraging the faithful, and giving her belongings. Everything that she had was devoted daily to serving the Lord.
What did Miss Havergal choose to do on February 4, 1874? She was on a five-day visit in a house with ten people, some of whom did not know the Lord, and those who knew the Lord were not "rejoicing Christians." God laid upon her heart to pray, "Lord, give me all in this house." She prayed. The Spirit moved. And the Lord blessed every single person in the house. On the last day of the visit, Miss Havergal wrote that she was "too happy to sleep." Words and phrases of this week's featured hymn, Take My Life and Let It Be, "formed themselves and chimed in my heart one after another till they finished with 'ever only, ALL FOR THEE!'"
Here are those words:
|1. Take my life, and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee.
|2. Take my voice, and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
filled with messages from thee.
Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use
every power as thou shalt choose.
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.|