HymnSite.com's Suggested Hymns

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Proper 18(23)
September 5, 1999

Unifying Theme:
The continuing theme of love and care--
from the Lord to His people, and through His people

Scripture Theme Hymns
Exodus 12:1-14
Ezekiel 33:7-11
The Passover--a lasting observance
An accounting for caring
303: The Day of Resurrection
325: Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus
413: A Charge to Keep I Have
414: Thou Hidden Love of God
Psalm 149
Psalm 119:33-40
The Lord takes delight in His people
Obedience and selflessness
280: All Glory, Laud, and Honor
398: Jesus Calls Us
436: The Voice of God Is Calling
Matthew 18:15-20 Christ in our relationships 373: Nothing Between
576: Rise Up, O Men of God
Romans 13:8-14 Love fulfills the law 358: Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
698: God of the Ages

Featured Hymn
The Voice of God is Calling

Hymn #436
Words by John Haynes Holmes
Music by William Lloyd

Some things are always there. Sometimes we see them; sometimes we don't. Sometimes we hear them; sometimes we don't. I knew a man who was frequently called to work on oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. For years he had driven the same route half way across Louisiana to make connections for helicopter or boat transportation from a shore base. One morning he arrived at the shore base and realized that he could not name a single song that he had heard on the radio; he could not recall a single car that he had seen; he could recall a single turn that he had made. All of this was blank, even though the radio was on and there had been songs, there had been other cars on the road, and there were several turns he had to make. He simply had not been focused on those things and could not recall any of them. How often do we, the people of God, go along the journey of life in the same way?

This week's featured hymn was written by John Haynes Holmes (1879-1964). Holmes had been a minister in New York City for about 6 years by the time that he wrote these words in 1913. He must have seen and felt the daily grind of the city around him. He could have watched people rushing about, going to offices, stores, and other places, the noises of the city surrounding it all. He could have seen people blocking out distracting sites and sounds. He could probably see himself getting caught up in the same thing from time to time.

Even in the midst of the bustling city, though, the voice of God was calling. Holmes could hear it. The voice of God was not a thing of the past. It was right there in the city, in the midst of all the rush, in the middle of everything. People might have turned their focus somewhere else, but that voice was still there. As you read the words of the hymn, consider where you might be hearing the voice of God calling to you, and what God might be saying.

1. The voice of God is calling
its summons in our day;
Isaiah heard in Zion,
and we now hear God say:
"Whom shall I send to succor
my people in their need?
Whom shall I send to loosen
the bonds of shame and greed?
2. "I hear my people crying
in slum and mine and mill;
no field or mart is silent,
no city street is still.
I see my people falling
in darkness and despair.
Whom shall I send to shatter
the fetters which they bear?"
3. We heed, O Lord, your summons,
and answer: Here are we!
Send us upon your errand,
let us your servants be.
Our strength is dust and ashes,
our years a passing hour;
but you can use our weakness
to magnify your power.
4. From ease and plenty save us;
from pride of place absolve;
purge us of low desire;
lift us to high resolve;
take us, and make us holy;
teach us your will and way.
Speak, and behold! we answer;
command, and we obey!

The voice of God is indeed calling us today. Do we hear it? Do we listen? Do we heed?

God bless you--
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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.