Fifth Sunday After Epiphany
|Isaiah 40:21-31||The Lord is everlasting||66: Praise, My Soul, the King of
79: Holy God, We Praise Thy Name
88: Maker in Whom We Live
|Psalm 147:1-11, 20c||The Lord's delight||280: All Glory, Laud, and Honor
631: O Food to Pilgrims Given
|Mark 1:29-39||Christ preaching and healing||256: We Would See Jesus
382: Have Thine Own Way, Lord
|1 Corinthians 9:16-23||Doing all to save some||193: Jesus! the Name High over All
539: O Spirit of the Living God
Most of us think that we know what joy is. We hear it in the laughter of a toddler playing with a puppy. We see it in the smile of friends greeting friends after a long and anxious wait. We feel it in a firm embrace between parent and child. Joy is more than merely being happy. It fills the soul to the point that we cannot remain still; we cannot remain quiet. It makes us run to greet our loved ones; it makes us shout and laugh.
That is how the joy of the Lord is. When we are filled with that joy, we cannot be still. We cannot be silent. The joy of the Lord compels us to share it with others anywhere that we are. When we are in the sanctuary, we share it with others who also know our joy. When we are outside of the sanctuary, we share it with others who may not know our joy. The point is, though, that when we know the joy of the Lord we cannot help sharing it, no matter what the circumstances.
This week's featured hymn was written by Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847). Lyte learned about God from his mother as a young child in England, where he lived until his father received a military assignment in Ireland. At age 9, he was enrolled in The Royal School Enniskillen, which subsequently came to be called Portora Royal School. Shortly after this, his father abandoned the family and his mother returned to England where she died several years later. The young Henry Lyte, however, remained at Portora in the care of its headmaster, Dr. Robert Burrows. He would never see his parents again.
In spite of the hardships that he faced, Lyte continually expressed praise to God throughout his life through the gift of written expression. Using that gift, he shared with all of us the joy of praising God that he had learned as a child. While serving as minister in Brixham he penned the following words. As you read them, reflect on joyful worship, the joy of salvation, and the joy we will know when we are all joined with God and saints in heaven.
|1. Praise, my soul, the King of heaven,
to the throne thy tribute bring;
ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
evermore God's praises sing.
Praise the everlasting King.
|2. Praise the Lord for grace and favor
to all people in distress;
praise God, still the same as ever,
slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Glorious now God's faithfulness.
|3. Fatherlike, God tends and spares us;
well our feeble frame God knows;
motherlike, God gently bears us,
rescues us from all our foes.
Widely yet God's mercy flows.
|4. Angels in the heights, adoring,
you behold God face to face;
saints triumphant, now adoring,
gathered in from every race.
Praise with us the God of grace.
May all of our days be filled with joy and praise.
God bless you--
|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.|