Suggested Hymns from

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

(Year A)

Unifying Theme:
It is important to heed the letter of the law,
and even more important to heed the Spirit.

Scripture Theme Hymns
Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12) Holy fasting, not just going hungry 395: Take Time to Be Holy
436: The Voice of God Is Calling
500: Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart
Psalm 112:1-9 (10) Blessings to those who fear the Lord 374: Standing on the Promises
662: Stand Up and Bless the Lord
1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16) Wisdom comes from the Spirit 332: Spirit of Faith, Come Down
475: Come Down, O Love Divine
Matthew 5:13-20 Salt and light; honor God's law 440: Let There Be Light
635: Because Thou Hast Said

Featured Hymn
Stand Up and Bless the Lord

Hymn #662
Words: James Montgomery

Music: Genevan Psalter; adapt. by William Crotch
Tune Name: ST. MICHAEL

Motives. Whether or not we acknowledge them, we have them. Love. Acceptance. Profit. Greed. Glory. You can name your own set of motives. You have yours. I have mine.

The lectionary readings this week talk of fasting and shining a light. Why would we fast? For strife and debate, or to undo heavy burdens? Why would we shine a light? To glorify ourselves, or to glorify God? We know what the answers to these questions should be. Do we choose the right paths?

This week's featured hymn was written by James Montgomery. A journalist by profession, he also authored many hymns and advocated many causes. His hymns and journalistic pieces reflected his motivations. He opposed slavery and promoted democracy. His editorials were so impassioned that they landed him in prison sometimes, leading to the publication of Prison Amusements, a pamphlet of poems that he wrote one time while he was incarcerated.

Stand Up and Bless the Lord was originally prepared for children to observe the anniversary of the Red Hill Wesleyan Sunday School, but has been used for the entire body of the church for nearly two centuries because of its boldness and clear focus on the core motivation for Christian worship: bless the Lord! Consider Montgomery's motives-- and your own--as you read the words of this hymn.

1. Stand up and bless the Lord,
ye people of his choice;
stand up and bless the Lord your God
with heart and soul and voice.
2. Though high above all praise,
above all blessing high,
who would not fear his holy name,
and laud and magnify?
3. O for the living flame
from his own altar brought,
to touch our lips, our minds inspire,
and wing to heaven our thought!
4. God is our strength and song,
and his salvation ours;
then be his love in Christ proclaimed
with all our ransomed powers.
5. Stand up and bless the Lord;
the Lord your God adore;
stand up and bless his glorious name,
henceforth forevermore.
Stand up and bless the Lord, indeed, with heart and soul and voice.

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.