Second Sunday After Epiphany
|1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20)||Being called by the Lord||57: O For a Thousand Tongues to
430: O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee
467: Trust and Obey
|Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18||God's knowledge and foreknowledge||341: I Sought the Lord
419: I Am Thine, O Lord
|John 1:43-51||Philip and Nathanael called||371: I Stand Amazed in the
436: The Voice of God Is Calling
454: Open My Eyes, That I May See
|1 Corinthians 6:12-20||Honoring God with your body||354: I Surrender All
399: Take My Life, and Let It Be
421: Make Me a Captive, Lord
During many traditional wedding ceremonies in the English speaking world, the wedding party enters one by one until the bride finally arrives, escorted by her father. The minister asks, "Who gives this woman in marriage?", and the father replies, "I do." These words are often revised or completely omitted from weddings today. We live in communities that reject the notion that any person can be given away by someone else--even if that "someone else" happens to be their father. Entering marriage today is a voluntary act, and its greatest meaning is shared between the newly joined couple. The man gives himself to the woman. The woman gives herself to the man. The two become one, and there is love.
The same is true even outside of the marriage context. Most of us live in situations where others have the authority to direct us or commit us to tasks of their choosing. We do our jobs and fulfill our obligations. If we seek joy and fulfillment in our own lives, though, we do not find it in the commitments that others make for us. Instead, we find our fulfillment when we commit ourselves to something--when we give ourselves to someone else.
One of the most beloved hymn writers of all time, Fanny J. Crosby wrote the words of this week's featured hymn. Blind from the age of six weeks, she nevertheless captured imagery that eludes most people. This hymn is no exception. Crosby was 31 when she heard her call to Christ. It was at that time, when she heard the Lord's precious voice, that she learned to experience God as a friend in prayer.
As you read the words of the hymn, take them as your own, and give yourself to God.
|1. I am thine, O Lord, I have heard thy voice,
and it told thy love to me;
but I long to rise in the arms of faith
and be closer drawn to thee.
|2. Consecrate me now to thy service, Lord,
by the power of grace divine;
let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
and my will be lost in thine.
|3. O the pure delight of a single hour
that before thy throne I spend,
when I kneel in prayer, and with thee, my God,
I commune as friend with friend!
|4. There are depths of love that I cannot know
till I cross the narrow sea;
there are heights of joy that I may not reach
till I rest in peace with thee.
Listen carefully. God's voice is still calling. God is still waiting to talk with His children--friend with friend. Be God's friend. Give yourself to Him, and draw near.
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.|