Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost
|Be strong and wait; God will bring peace
I know that my Redeemer lives
|57: O For a Thousand Tongues
266: Heal Us, Emmanuel, Hear Our Prayer
414: Thou Hidden Love of God
145:1-5, 17-21 or
|The Lord is worthy of praise; sing to the Lord a new song
Call on the Lord
|156: I Love to Tell the
332: Spirit of Faith, Come Down
663: Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name
|Luke 20:27-38||In God there is no death--all are alive!||539: O Spirit of the Living
702: Sing with All the Saints in Glory
|2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17||Don't be misled about the end times, but hold on to the truth||465: Holy Spirit, Truth
492: Prayer Is the Soul's Sincere Desire
Text: Henry H. Tweedy, 1868-1953
Music: Trad. English melody; arr. by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Tune: FOREST GREEN Meter: CMD
Have you ever tried to give directions in a town after you had been away for a long time? Even with a good memory or a good map, it can feel as though you are in a new, unfamiliar place. You might not remember street names. Some street names could have changed. Perhaps there are new buildings, and some of the old ones are gone. Houses might be painted new colors. You remember small trees that stood where large ones now tower overhead. In spite of the changes, though, there are things about the town that you do remember. Features that set it apart. Unique landmarks that you recognize. These features and landmarks help you feel more at ease. They provide a sense of comfort and security. They give you reference points that you can share with others who need directions.
The same is sometimes true of spiritual things. Scriptures provide a good road map, but it is often hard to remember or find every reference to every passage that we need to use. We are missing the "street names" on our spiritual road map. Yet, there are features and landmarks that we can use to see the way and to tell others about God's way.
This week's featured hymn was written by Henry H. Tweedy (1868-1953). Tweedy lived in the United States from the period of Reconstruction after the Civil War until World War II had ended. He completed seminary, served as a minister, and returned to seminary as a teacher. What an incredibly changing world he lived in! He saw the arrival of the twentieth century. He saw the economy go from high times to low times in the Depression, and back to the post-war boom years. He saw huge rivers dammed and electricity come of age. He saw the seas change from being dominated by wooden ships, to the building--and sinking--of the Titanic. He saw the skies filled with birds and then planes. He saw weapons of mass destruction change from crude canons to horrifying atomic bombs. Changes like these are enough to disorient anyone. How do you give spiritual guidance and direction to people in such an explosive, changing environment?
With all of this turmoil, it is hardly any wonder that Tweedy looked for the Spirit of the living God in the world around him! With the world constantly changing, he set out to describe features and landmarks that help us recognize the Holy Spirit and its effects on the church and its people. Read his words.
|1. O Spirit of the living God,
thou light and fire divine,
descend upon thy church once more,
and make it truly thine.
Fill it with love and joy and power,
with righteousness and peace;
till Christ shall dwell in human hearts,
and sin and sorrow cease.
|2. Blow, wind of God! With wisdom blow
until our minds are free
from mists of error, clouds of doubt,
which blind our eyes to thee.
Burn, winged fire! Inspire our lips
with flaming love and zeal,
to preach to all thy great good news,
God's glorious commonweal.
|3. Teach us to utter living words
of truth which all may hear,
the language all may understand
when love speaks loud and clear;
till every age and race and clime
shall blend their creeds in one,
and earth shall form one family
by whom thy will is done.
|4. So shall we know the power of Christ
who came this world to save;
so shall we rise with him to life
which soars beyond the grave;
and earth shall win true holiness,
which makes thy children whole;
till, perfected by thee, we reach
creation's glorious goal!
Now look for the Spirit in your life and in your community. Show the Spirit in your life and in your community. Experience the Spirit in your life and in your community.
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.|