Suggested Hymns

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

August 9, 1998
Proper 14(19)

Unifying Theme:
Real belief is full of hope, full of sincerity,
full of thanks, and very full of blessing!

Scripture Theme Hymns
Isaiah 1:1, 10-20
Genesis 15:1-6
Sincerity is more important than sacrifice
Believe it--God has something good for you!
492: Prayer Is the Soul's Sincere Desire
616: Come, Sinners, to the Gospel Feast
Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23
Psalm 33:12-22
Honor God with offerings of thanks
Put your hope in God
102: Now Thank We All Our God
731: Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken
Luke 12:32-40 Be ready for the blessings God has for you 397: I Need Thee Every Hour
600: Wonderful Words of Life
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16 Seeing is not believing--
is believing!
266: Heal Us, Emmanuel, Hear Our Prayer
714: I Know Whom I Have Believed

Featured Hymn
I Know Whom I Have Believed

Hymn #714
Words by Daniel W. Whittle
Music by James McGranahan
Tune Name: EL NATHAN

Have you ever been confused? If you ask, "Confused about what?" then you are already confused by my question! ;^) Confusion comes in so many forms. Sometimes it is easy to resolve. Sometimes it is not so easy. But where does it come from? Does it come from new places? From new people? From new perceptions? Where?

Perhaps the difficulty in finding an answer to these questions lies in the fact that confusion is not based on what is known. Instead, it stems from the lack of an answer--or at least the lack of a reliable answer. It could be that there is no answer at all, or there could simply be a lack of confidence in an explanation that is offered. Either way, confusion is based on a lack of knowledge or certainty.

How do we deal with confusion? Sometimes we search until we find "the" answer. There is no longer a lack of knowledge or certainty, and the confusion is resolved. At least as frequently, though (at least in my case), we look for "enough" of the answer to get past the confusing issue, and we leave the confusion behind. It is still confusing, but it doesn't matter any more.

That is an idea that is captured in the words of this week's featured hymn. Written by Daniel Whittle (1840-1901), the stanzas describe one thing after another that he doesn't know. Why did God make His grace known? Why did Christ redeem us? How do we have faith? How does faith bring peace? On and on it goes. Everything is confusion; there are no answers to be found. No answers, that is, until we reach the refrain:

But I know whom I have believed, 
and am persuaded that he is able 
to keep that which I've committed 
unto him against that day.

I know whom I have believed. There is nothing confusing about that! I am persuaded that He is able. There is no uncertainty here. Despite all of the questions and issues, all of the unknowns and uncertainties, there is an underlying truth in Christ that we can rely on. This doesn't mean that all of the confusion is gone. But it does mean that we can have certainty about Christ amid the confusion around us.

Are you still confused? That's OK. You can know what you need to know--you can know Jesus!

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.