Suggested Hymns from

Baptism of the Lord
(First Sunday After the Epiphany)

(Year A)

Unifying Theme:
Mercy and justice from the Lord almighty
through faith and humble service

Scripture Theme Hymns
Isaiah 42:1-9 The Lord's servant brings justice to the nations 103: Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
730: O Day of God, Draw Nigh
Psalm 29 The glory and strength of the Lord 154: All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
155: All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
181: Ye Servants of God
514: Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus
Acts 10:34-43 Forgiveness of sins for everyone who believes in the name of Christ 363: And Can It Be that I Should Gain
372: How Can We Sinners Know
Matthew 3:13-17 Christ baptized by John 193: Jesus! the Name High over All
267: O Love, How Deep

Featured Hymn
O Day of God Draw Nigh

Text: Robert B.Y. Scott, 1899-1987
Music: Genevan Psalter, 1551; arr. by William Crotch, 1775-1847
Tune: ST. MICHAEL, Meter: SM

So many common phrases refer to the passage of time. Time marches on. Time flies when you're having fun. Timeless beauty. Just in time. Many more phrases come to mind effortlessly. As people on this earth, we often feel that we are at the mercy of time. Unfortunately, time has no consciousness and no sense of mercy. Indeed, time exacts a toll on each of us with every passing moment.

As fearful and forboding as that may seem, though, the passage of time also brings us closer to promises for the future. God's Word holds promises for a time of justice and forgiveness for His people. In a large sense, then, whether we love or fear the passage of time depends on our focus. Do we fear the toll that time takes on us, or do we rejoice in God's promises for the future?

This week's featured hymn was written by Robert Scott (1899-1987), a minister ordained in the United Church in Canada. Scott was actively engaged in expanding the influence of Christian teachings in the order of society. He wrote "O Day of God Draw Nigh" in 1937 for the Fellowship for a Christian Social Order, an organization in which he served as president for four years. The hymn calls for judgment, obedience, security, peace, and light. Since then, the world has experienced another world war, the Holocaust, and many more military engagements and terrorist attacks. We should be saddened and shocked that what Scott knew and sought in 1937, if achieved, would have averted all of those tragedies.

Read the words of this hymn thoughtfully and take them to heart.

1. O day of God, draw nigh
in beauty and in power;
come with thy timeless judgment now
to match our present hour.
2. Bring to our troubled minds,
uncertain and afraid,
the quiet of a steadfast faith,
calm of a call obeyed.
3. Bring justice to our land,
that all may dwell secure,
and finely build for days to come
foundations that endure.
4. Bring to our world of strife
thy sovereign word of peace,
that war may haunt the earth no more,
and desolation cease.
5. O day of God, draw nigh
as at creation's birth;
let there be light again, and set
thy judgments on the earth.

As we begin another year, let us look forward to the day of God, just as Robert Scott did. And let us each do all that we can to share the peace and light of the Gospel each day, that all of the world might see in us a reflection of the blessed day when we can truly say that the day of God has indeed arrived.

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.