Sixth Sunday After Epiphany
(Year C, Proper 1)
|Jeremiah 17:5-10||Trust God who knows your heart||160:
Ye Pure in Heart
417: O For a Heart to Praise My God
|Psalm 1||Delight in God who watches over the righteous||90: Ye
Watchers and Ye Holy Ones
679: O Splendor of God's Glory Bright
|Luke 6:17-26||Look forward to God's blessing; blessings from man are fleeting||400: Come,
Thou Fount of Every Blessing
550: Christ, from Whom All Blessings Flow
671: Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing
|1 Corinthians 15:12-20||Look forward to the resurrection in Christ||303: The
Day of Resurrection
309: On the Day of Resurrection
370: Victory in Jesus
Text: Edward H. Plumptre, 1821-1891
Music: Arthur H. Messiter, 1834-1916
Tune: MARION, Meter: SM with Refrain
It is easy to focus on the negative. Perhaps it is because the negative is so different from the positive that it just stands out. Perhaps it is because we experience some strange satisfaction in identifying something else which we perceive to be worse than ourselves. Perhaps, well, let's stop there. Perhaps we are looking at the wrong thing when we focus on the negative.
The scriptures tell us over and over to praise the Lord. The Psalms are full of praise. The prophets are full of praise. The gospels are full of praise. Certainly there are also times of sorrow and stress, but the Apostle Paul summed it up so well in Philippians when he said, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Phil. 4:8 (NIV).
This week's featured hymn was written during the 19th century by Edward Plumptre, a noted scholar. He earned a double first-class in mathematics and classics from University College Oxford, was ordained in the Church of England, translated and published commentaries on scripture, and had a background of serving as professor, chaplain, and dean. From this we might expect to see a hymn filled with deep theological language and terms. Nothing could be farther from truth. Take a moment to sing its simple but compelling refrain--"Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks and sing." You see, somewhere along the line Plumptre learned the joy of lifting praise to Christ and the Kingdom of God. He challenges us to rejoice, even after his brief mention of "woe." As you read the words of the hymn, seek the joy that Plumptre captured in its text:
|1. Rejoice, ye pure in heart;
rejoice, give thanks and sing;
your glorious banner wave on high,
the cross of Christ your King.
|2. Your clear hosannas raise,
and alleluias loud;
whilst answering echoes upward float,
like wreaths of incense cloud.
|3. Yes, on through life's long path,
still chanting as ye go;
from youth to age, by night and day,
in gladness and in woe.
|4. At last the march shall end;
the wearied ones shall rest;
the pilgrims find their heavenly home,
Jerusalem the blest.
|5. Praise God who reigns on high,
the Lord whom we adore,
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
one God forevermore.
Focus on Christ. Rejoice in the Lord. And rejoice so the world may see the glory that is God.
God bless you--
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.|