Suggested Hymns

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

October 18, 1998
Proper 24(29)

Unifying Theme:
The lessons of the scriptures are wonderful

Scripture Theme Hymns
Jeremiah 31:27-34
Genesis 32:22-31
Reestablishment of God's people
Jacob's struggle with God
500: Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart
545: The Church's One Foundation
Psalm 119:97-104
Psalm 121
Rejoicing in God's law
The Lord watches over you
117: O God, Our Help in Ages Past
160: Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart
Luke 18:1-8 The importance of being earnest 332: Spirit of Faith, Come Down
688: God, That Madest Earth and Heaven
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 Using the scriptures 374: Standing on the Promises
465: Holy Spirit, Truth Divine
598: O Word of God Incarnate

Featured Hymn
Standing on the Promises

Hymn #374
Words and music by R. Kelso Carter

Have you ever put a Bible on a table, let it fall open, and plunged your finger blindly onto the page in hopes that a special message would be waiting for you at the passage under your finger tip? Many people have. I am not going to encourage or discourage doing that. At best, you will find something meaningful, which should come as no surprise to you. After all, the scriptures are full of meaningful passages! At worst, you will find yourself reading the scriptures, which should also come as no surprise to you. As a creation of God, it is only natural that you should desire to learn about your Creator.

Rather than seeking a chance encounter with the Word of God, though, wouldn't it be better to know what is in it? This week's Lectionary readings contain one of my favorite Bible passages, 2 Timothy 3:16-17. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV). Wow! Scripture comes from God, and Scripture is useful! Once again, this should come as no surprise, but it is reassuring to read Paul's words to Timothy. When we use it for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, we become equipped for every good work. What a great promise!

Russell Kelso Carter (1849-1928) wrote the words to this week's featured hymn in 1886. He was gifted in many ways. In school he excelled in all subjects. In sports he was outstanding in baseball and gymnastics. As he entered adult life he became a teacher, then a minister, and then a physician. He prepared text books in several subjects and authored a number of novels. And on top of all of that, mixed in with everything else, he wrote hymns and music. A discussion of this interesting gentleman can be found on the United Methodist Reporter site at

Carter studied the Bible and knew it well. He knew the stories of creation in the Books of Moses. He new the stories of the end times as told by the prophets and apocalyptic writers. And he knew what was written in between. In the beginning, God created. In the end, God will reign. In between, God's creation falls. But God promised to provide a way. Through Jeremiah, God promised to restore. Through the Psalmist, God promised to watch over His people. Through the parable in Luke, God promised justice. Through the epistle to Timothy, God promised to equip His people for every good work.

Carter claimed those promises for himself. In the words of this hymn, he is "standing on the promises of God." Here are the words.

1. Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
through eternal ages let his praises ring;
glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
standing on the promises of God.
2. Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
by the living Word of God I shall prevail,
standing on the promises of God.
3. Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
bound to him eternally by love's strong cord,
overcoming daily with the Spirit's sword,
standing on the promises of God.
4. Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
listening every moment to the Spirit's call,
resting in my Savior as my all in all,
standing on the promises of God.
Standing, standing,
standing on the promises of Christ my Savior;
standing, standing,
I'm standing on the promises of God.

You can stand on God's promises, too. Will you?

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.