Sundays after Pentecost
Third Sunday after Pentecost; Proper 5(10)
|I Kings 17:8-16, (17-24)
I Kings 17:17-24
|Life from the true word of God||539. O Spirit of the Living God
710. Faith of Our Fathers
|Praise to God who sustains
Praise to God who protects
|62. All Creatures of Our God and King
698. God of the Ages
|Luke 7:11-17||Life from the true Word of God
Word of God Incarnate
600. Wonderful Words of Life
|Galatians 1:11-24||Revelation of the Word brings life
||332. Spirit of Faith, Come Down
714. I Know Whom I Have Believed
Text by Daniel C. Roberts
Music by George W. Warren
Tune: NATIONAL HYMN
There are times when we overcome challenges even though we know that we are not equal to the task. We may not be strong enough. We may not know enough. We may not have sufficient resources. Whatever the obstacles, though, we survive. We overcome. We endure.
This week's featured hymn was written by Rev. Daniel C. Roberts. It is worth pausing for a moment to consider his background. Roberts was born in New York in 1841. As he grew he experienced first-hand the tensions rising between the northern and southern states over slavery and states rights. He was powerless to alter its course. When the Civil War broke out he served Union forces in the 84th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. As a private, once again he was powerless to influence his circumstances. Abraham Lincoln was President. In his famous Gettysburg Address, Lincoln acknowledged the pressing question that must have weighed on the minds and hearts of every American--can a nation like the United States long endure?
We know the answer to that question today. The nation did endure. As most Americans of the time did, President Lincoln sought and followed his understanding of God's divine will for the nation, declaring at his second inauguration, "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." Under this leadership and philosophy, the American Civil War came to an end. The union of states was preserved. Little more than a decade later the nation would turn 100 years old.
With this historical backdrop Roberts wrote this week's featured hymn under the title God of Our Fathers. He explained its origin in a letter:
The hymn was written in 1876 for a celebration of the Centennial "Fourth" of July, and sung at Brandon, Vermont, to the tune called Russian Hymn! When our General Convention appointed a Commission to revise the Hymnal, I sent it, without my name, promising to send the name if the hymn were accepted. It was accepted and printed anonymously in the report of the Commission. Before the Hymnal was printed, the Reverend Dr. Tucker, late of Troy, editor of our best musical Hymnal, and Mr. George William Warren, organist of St. Thomas’ Church, New York, were appointed to choose a hymn for the centennial celebration of the adoption of the Constitution. They selected this hymn, then anonymous, and wanting a tune, Mr. Warren composed a tune to which it has since been set in the "Tucker" Hymnal.
The committee preparing the 1989 edition of The United Methodist Hymnal adopted a version of the hymn which substitutes "God of the ages" in the first line. Here are the words.
|1. God of the ages, whose almighty hand
leads forth in beauty all the starry band
of shining worlds in splendor through the skies,
our grateful songs before thy throne arise.
|2. Thy love divine hath led us in the past;
in this free land with thee our lot is cast;
be thou our ruler, guardian, guide, and stay,
thy Word our law, thy paths our chosen way.
|3. From war's alarms, from deadly pestilence,
be thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
thy true religion in our hearts increase;
thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.
|4. Refresh thy people on their toilsome way;
lead us from night to never-ending day;
fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
and glory, laud, and praise be ever thine.
God, who watched over Roberts through the ravages of the Civil War and inspired him to pen the words of this hymn, is still almighty, still leads, still loves, and still blesses us today. May we offer all glory, laud, and praise to the Lord today, just as Roberts did in his time.
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.|