Suggested Hymns from

Seventh Sunday of Easter or
Ascension Sunday

Unifying Theme:
God working through His people;
God watching over His people

Scripture Theme Hymns

Seventh Sunday of Easter

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 Matthias chosen to replace Judas 415: Take Up Thy Cross
430: O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee
436: The Voice of God Is Calling
454: Open My Eyes, That I May See
467: Trust and Obey
469: Jesus Is All the World to Me
Psalm 1 The Lord watches over the righteous 407: Close to Thee
417: O For a Heart to Praise My God
419: I Am Thine, O Lord
John 17:6-19 Christ prays for His followers 294: Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed
298: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
299: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
301: Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross
1 John 5:9-13 God's testimony of eternal life 117: O God, Our Help in Ages Past
374: Standing on the Promises
388: O Come, and Dwell in Me
651: Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire
715: Rejoice, the Lord Is King

Ascension Sunday

Acts 1:1-11 The ascension of Christ 96: Praise the Lord Who Reigns Above
157: Jesus Shall Reign
173: Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Sky
Psalm 47
Psalm 93
God has ascended
The majesty of the Lord
154: All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
155: All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
718: Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending
Luke 24:44-53 The ascension of Christ 96: Praise the Lord Who Reigns Above
157: Jesus Shall Reign
173: Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Sky
Ephesians 1:15-23 Christ above all 157: Jesus Shall Reign
193: Jesus! the Name High over All
715: Rejoice, the Lord Is King
731: Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken

Featured Hymn
Close to Thee

Hymn #407
Text: Fanny J. Crosby
Music: Silas J. Vail

"Closeness" is a key aspect in any relationship. Take a moment to think of your closest acquaintance, your dearest friend, your most intimate confidant. You might think of your spouse or another family member. You might think of someone else. What creates the sense of closeness? Physical proximity is usually a good starting point, but simply being nearby cannot create closeness. How "close" do you feel to the next person in a checkout line at the store? Do you even know their name? Do you ask?

Shared experiences are important, too, but they do not necessarily create closeness, either. There were over 800 people who graduated with me from high school. For years we shared classes, assemblies, lunch in the cafeteria, state championship games, band concerts, talent shows, and more. Even with all of those shared experiences, though, I did not know most of their names and interests when we graduated. Several decades later I still don't.

Closeness indeed consists of more than mere proximity and common experiences. It is more than knowledge and awareness. Closeness occurs when a connection happens at a deeper, more personal, more intimate level; it involves being close to someone emotionally and spiritually.

Fanny Crosby is by far the most prolific hymn writer of the Christian era. As was true of so many of her hymns and poems, this week's featured hymn came to her very quickly as an inspiration. Silas Vail played one of his newly composed tunes for her. As she listened, she suddenly exclaimed, "That chorus says, 'Close to Thee!'" Immediately she set to writing the words, and that evening the hymn was complete. This sudden and beautiful expression of closeness to Jesus was born of her own personal relationship with the Lord. Enjoy the nearness that she shares as you read her words:

1. Thou my everlasting portion,
more than friend or life to me,
all along my pilgrim journey,
Savior, let me walk with thee. 
Close to thee, close to thee,
close to thee, close to thee,
all along my pilgrim journey,
Savior, let me walk with thee. 
2. Not for ease or worldly pleasure,
nor for fame my prayer shall be;
gladly will I toil and suffer,
only let me walk with thee.
3. Lead me through the vale of shadows,
bear me o'er life's fitful sea;
then the gate of life eternal
may I enter, Lord, with thee.

May the story of your life today be like Fanny Crosby's, a story of walking close to Jesus, too.

God bless you--
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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.