Sundays after Pentecost
|Leading people; following God
Actions and consequences
|128: He Leadeth Me: O Blessed
338: Where He Leads Me
580: Lead On, O King Eternal
|The Lord is good
Knowing hope in God
|142: If Thou But Suffer God to Guide
368: My Hope Is Built
524: Beams of Heaven as I Go
|Matthew 23:1-12||Actions before men and actions before God||444: O Young and Fearless Prophet
680: Father, We Praise Thee
|1 Thessalonians 2:9-13||God's word--the word from God||430: O Master, Let Me Walk with
698: God of the Ages
Sometimes we are called upon to follow. Other times we are called to lead. It is good to know what our role is. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to know. Leaders can serve, and servants can lead. How do we know what to do? How can we have courage and joy and confidence in our Christian walk? By knowing that whatever our role may be, we are always called to follow God's will for our lives.
This week's featured hymn, He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought, was written by Joseph H. Gilmore. Here is his own account of it.
As a young man who recently had been graduated from Brown University and Newton Theological Institution, I was supplying for a couple of Sundays the pulpit of the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia. At the mid-week service, on the 26th of March 1862, I set out to give the people an exposition of the Twenty-third Psalm, which I had given before on three or four occasions, but this time I did not get further than the words "He leadeth me." Those words took hold of me as they had never done before, and I saw them in a significance and wondrous beauty of which I had never dreamed.
It was the darkest hour of the Civil War, I did not refer to that fact that is, I dont think I did but it may subconsciously have led me to realize that Gods leadership is the one significant fact in human experience, that it makes no difference how we are led, or whither we are led, so long as we are sure God is leading us.
At the close of the meeting a few of us in the parlor of my host, good Deacon Wattson, kept on talking about the thought which I had emphasized; and then and there, on a blank page of the brief from which I had intended to speak, I penciled the hymn, talking and writing at the same time, then handed it to my wife and thought no more about it. She sent it to The Watchman and Reflector, a paper published in Boston, where it was first printed. I did not know until 1865 that my hymn had been set to music by William B. Bradbury. I went to Rochester to preach as a candidate before the Second Baptist Church. Going into their chapel on arrival in the city, I picked up a hymnal to see what they were singing, and opened it at my own hymn, "He Leadeth Me."
He was a young man just out of school. He was not seeking recognition, but simply recording words that God had placed on his heart. What a wonderful surprise it must have been to find his words in the hymnal. Enjoy these words as you read them:
|1. He leadeth me: O blessed thought!
O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whate'er I do, where'er I be,
still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.
|2. Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
sometimes where Eden's bowers bloom,
by waters still, o'er troubled sea,
still 'tis his hand that leadeth me.
|3. Lord, I would place my hand in thine,
nor ever murmur nor repine;
content, whatever lot I see,
since 'tis my God that leadeth me.
|4. And when my task on earth is done,
when by thy grace the victory's won,
e'en death's cold wave I will not flee,
since God through Jordan leadeth me.
Rejoice that God is leading you today. Will you follow?
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.|