Suggested Hymns from

Seventh Sunday after Epiphany

(Year A)

Unifying Theme:
Righteousness in God has one foundation,
Jesus Christ

Scripture Theme Hymns
Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18 Be charitable, fair, and upright 561. Jesus, United by Thy Grace
650. Give Me the Faith Which Can Remove
Psalm 119:33-40 Seek to know and follow God's ways 175. Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee
Matthew 5:38-48 Go the extra mile 338. Where He Leads Me
1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23 Christ is the one foundation 193. Jesus! the Name High over All
203. Hail to the Lord's Anointed
529: How Firm a Foundation
545: The Church's One Foundation
559: Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

Featured Hymn
How Firm a Foundation

Hymn #529
Text: "K" in Rippon's A Selection of Hymns
Early USA melody; harm. from Tabor

Sometimes knowing who has done said or something gives it greater meaning. If the leader of a nation says something, it carries greater weight. If your boss assigns a project, you get right on it. Anonymous messages, though, are often disregarded. They have no particular authority, so we tend to give them no authority at all.

That is not always true, though. If someone shouts, "Fire!", people take it very seriously. It doesn't matter who said it. The risk of disregarding the warning is too great to ignore. Good messages can be equally compelling.

The scriptures in this week's lectionary come from some pretty strong authorities: the law from Moses, admonitions in the Psalms from King David, Paul's letter to the Corinthians, and Christ's own words about going the extra mile. All of them are clear messages from people with great authority, and these are excellent words! Whether or not we like the message--or how it applies to our current situation--these scriptures are great guides for people throughout the ages.

The words of this week's featured hymn are different. The author and composer are unknown, as is the motivation for its writing. And yet these anonymous stanzas compel us to listen; the tune captures our ear, so much so that congregations join in singing with great energy and joy. Let your heart be energized and filled with joy as you read or sing them aloud (don't be bashful!):

1. "How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
2. "Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
3. "When through deep waters I call thee to go,
the rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
for I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
4. "When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
my grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
the flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

What more is there to say? Sing it. Shout it. The Lord is our foundation, our refuge and our strength. Hallelujah!

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.