Sundays after Pentecost
|Set apart by God's presence
The Lord honors His anointed
|152: I Sing the Almighty Power of
371: I Stand Amazed in the Presence
700: Abide with Me
Psalm 96:1-9, (10-13)
|The Lord reigns
Sing to the Lord
|96: Praise the Lord Who Reigns
126: Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above
157: Jesus Shall Reign
|Matthew 22:15-22||Render to God what is God's||294: Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed
354: I Surrender All
359: Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed
|1 Thessalonians 1:1-10||A Godly life is a great witness||332: Spirit of Faith, Come Down
372: How Can We Sinners Know
388: O Come, and Dwell in Me
Think of people you admire. What is special about them? Perhaps it is their attitude or their intelligence. Maybe they are very organized and neat. People are admired for strength and beauty, courage, generousity, eloquence, and a host of other good qualities.
Now think about the way you feel when you are with them. Are you in awe? Or maybe you feel content or comfortable. They may bring out your competitive side, giving you confidence to perform at levels you might not have expected from yourself, or give you just enough help to do something truly exceptional. Their very presence helps you become something more than you were without them. Your achievements are partly a reflection of them and their influence in your life.
Now stop and think about God who made them--God, without whom they would not exist. If we admire the people around us, how much more must we admire the One who created them! God watched as every single person chose to follow a path of sin. Emmanuel--God with us--came as Christ, our Lord and Savior, so that every single person can follow the path that leads to salvation. And that Savior rejoices every time a person follows that path to stand in His presence. Coming into the Savior's presence, we know fulfillment--being filled full of joy and wonder and grace. We become more than we were. What we are reflects a part of what God has done for us.
This week's featured hymn was written by Charles H. Gabriel (1856-1932). A well-known musician in his time, Gabriel wrote many hymns and composed music for other hymn writers as well. His amazement at God's love and salvation through Christ is a common theme through many of his hymns. As you read the following words, open your heart to the awe inspiring presence of Christ in your life, and to the joy and wonder and grace of salvation.
|2. For me it was in the garden
he prayed: "Not my will, but thine."
He had no tears for his own griefs,
but sweat-drops of blood for mine.
|3. In pity angels beheld him,
and came from the world of light
to comfort him in the sorrows
he bore for my soul that night.
|4. He took my sins and my sorrows,
he made them his very own;
he bore the burden to Calvary,
and suffered and died alone.
|5. When with the ransomed in glory
his face I at last shall see,
'twill be my joy through the ages
to sing of his love for me.
May we always recognize the marvelous and wonderful love of Christ in our lives, and may Christ be reflected in all that we do today.
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.|