Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Year C: Proper 8(13)
Kings 2:1-2, 6-14
1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21
|The Lord, the God of Elijah, stays with us
The anointing of Elisha
|397: I Need Thee Every
500: Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart
700: Abide with Me
Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20
|Put God before you and be confident
Comfort in meditation on the Lord
|110: A Mighty Fortress Is
472: Near to the Heart of God
|Luke 9:51-62||Mercy and patience for communities; commitment and dedication from individuals||355: Depth of Mercy
363: And Can It Be that I Should Gain
578: God of Love and God of Power
|Galatians 5:1, 13-25||Freedom for love and Godly life||102: Now Thank We All Our
116: The God of Abraham Praise
417: O For a Heart to Praise My God
Text: Annie S. Hawks, 1835-1918
Music: Robert Lowry, 1826-1899
Tune: NEED, Meter: 64.64 with Refrain
There are many things that people need to sustain life. Some say that our basic needs are food and shelter, but there is much more. Physically, we need air for every breath we take. Mentally, we need stimulation. We need sights to see; we need sounds to hear; we need aromas to smell; we need flavors to taste; we need things to touch. Emotionally, we need others to share love. Studies have shown that people cannot survive without filling these physical, mental, and emotional needs.
Even if all of these needs are addressed, though, there is more. People are not merely a mixture of physical, mental, and emotional needs. In addition to these, each of us has a very real, spiritual aspect. Every person is a unique creation. Each one is made by God and has eternal, sacred worth because of the spirit that God places in us.
Our physical bodies die and decay over time. Our mental accomplishments are overtaken by superior technologies daily. Our emotions are fleeting, in an instant here, and in the next instant gone forever. But our spirits--our souls--live on.
With all of the effort that we put into our physical well being, why do we neglect our spiritual needs? We spend hours, days, and years in pursuit of mental and sensory stimulation through education and entertainment, but how much time do we spend on spiritual stimulation? Even in this age of instantaneous "no-fault" divorce on demand, people earnestly seek the emotional support of a healthy, stable marriage, family, and home life. But how earnest are we in our pursuit of a healthy, stable spiritual relationship with our Creator? Considering that our spiritual life is eternal, how are we doing in setting our priorities?
Annie Hawks (1835-1918) caught a glimpse of spiritual fulfillment in the words of this week's featured hymn. As she worked one day in her New York home, she explained that she felt a "sense of nearness to the Master, and these words 'I need thee every hour,' were ushered into my mind." She penned the entire hymn and shared it with her pastor, Rev. Robert Lowry, who wrote the music that is well recognized and associated with her words. Mrs. Hawks lived more than eighty years and wrote many hymns. Consider what you need--what you really need--as you read the words of this treasure:
|1. I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
no tender voice like thine can peace afford.
|2. I need thee every hour; stay thou nearby;
temptations lose their power when thou art nigh.
|3. I need thee every hour, in joy or pain;
come quickly and abide, or life is vain.
|4. I need thee every hour; teach me thy will;
and thy rich promises in me fulfill.
May we each feel our need as Annie Hawks did. May we each be filled with blessings overflowing, and know that we are truly compelled to share Christ--the fulfillment of every spiritual need--in our communities and our world.
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.|