Suggested Hymns from

Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

(Year A)

Unifying Theme:
God, goodness, blessing, and life go together

Scripture Theme Hymns
Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Sirach 15:15-20
Choose good, choose blessing, choose life 129: Give to the Winds Thy Fears
399: Take My Life, and Let It Be
Psalm 119:1-8 Blessings in the ways of the Lord 277: Tell Me the Stories of Jesus
384: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
395: Take Time to Be Holy
1 Corinthians 3:1-9 That which is good comes from God 67: We, Thy People, Praise Thee
152: I Sing the Almighty Power of God
369: Blessed Assurance
400: Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
698: God of the Ages
Matthew 5:21-37 Do good; shun evil 110: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
410: I Want a Principle Within

Featured Hymn
Take My Life and Let It Be

Hymn #399
Words: Frances R. Havergal, 1836-1879
Music: Louis J.F. Herold; arr. by George Kingsley

What gives you joy in your life? Possessions? Money? Entertainment? How do you spend your time? Working? Playing? Sleeping? Am I being too nosey yet?

The lectionary passages this week talk about choices. Life and good are connected, so choosing good is choosing life. Death and evil are connected, so choosing evil is choosing death. Death is a sobering message, but life is a message filled with hope and joy. One more question: do you choose life or death?

As serious as this sounds, it is this choice that we face every year, every month, and every day. And we make our choices frequently without even thinking about them. What a wondrous thing it is that every good choice leads to life. And oh, what a terrifying thing it is to know that every evil choice leads to death. When we ponder the eternal significance of our choices, both to ourselves and to those around us, may we always be inspired to choose life.

Frances Havergal lived in England during the 19th century. The daughter of an Episcopal minister, she was raised knowing the joy of the Lord. She was a gifted singer and pianist, and she used her gifts exclusively in ministry. Her letters and journals are replete with one example after another of sharing her gifts, witnessing to the lost, encouraging the faithful, and giving her belongings. Everything that she had was devoted daily to serving the Lord.

What did Miss Havergal choose to do on February 4, 1874? She was on a five-day visit in a house with ten people, some of whom did not know the Lord, and those who knew the Lord were not "rejoicing Christians." God laid upon her heart to pray, "Lord, give me all in this house." She prayed. The Spirit moved. And the Lord blessed every single person in the house. On the last day of the visit, Miss Havergal wrote that she was "too happy to sleep." The words and phrases of this week's featured hymn, Take My Life and Let It Be, "formed themselves and chimed in my heart one after another till they finished with 'ever only, ALL FOR THEE!'"

Here are those words:

1. Take my life, and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee.
2. Take my voice, and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
filled with messages from thee.
Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use
every power as thou shalt choose.
3. Take my will, and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee.
Choose to let the Lord take your life today and every day, and take delight in the knowledge that every good choice is a step on the path that leads to life.

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.