Suggested Hymns from

Third Sunday after Pentecost

Proper 5(10)
(Year A)

Unifying Theme:
Faith that is called, and given, and healed;
Faithfulness that calls, and gives, and heals.

Scripture Theme Hymns
Genesis 12:1-9
Hosea 5:15-6:6
Abram called by the Lord
A people called to return
384: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
724: On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand
Psalm 33:1-12
Psalm 50:7-15
Faithfulness of the Lord
Honor the Lord with thanks
66: Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven
181: Ye Servants of God
Romans 4:13-25 The offspring of faith 645: O Perfect Love
710: Faith of Our Fathers
Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26 Healing the spirit and the body of those who have faith 163: Ask Ye What Great Thing I Know
266: Heal Us, Emmanuel, Hear Our Prayer
462: 'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

Featured Hymn
Faith of Our Fathers

Hymn #710
Words by Frederick W. Faber
Music by Henri F. Hemy; adapt. by James G. Walton

We live in a world filled with causes. There is nothing new about this. There have been causes throughout history. There are political causes, social causes, and charitable causes. There are holy causes and some not-so-holy causes. Sometimes we have to wonder whether the causes drive us, or whether we drive the causes.

The Great Awakening took place during the eighteenth century. It was a time of causes that would live on for generations. John and Charles Wesley established Methodist Societies that would eventually lead to the establishment of the Methodist Church. The movement was associated with many causes including abolition of slavery, prison ministry, and caring for the needy. It was a movement grounded in discipline, but couched in a message of personal conversion directed to common people. The messages and the missions combined in a burst of spiritual fervor that still speaks to us today.

Contemporaneously, another phenomenon called the Oxford or Tractarian Movement was going through the Anglican Church. Viewed as being more sophisticated, this movement sought to improve religious experience through better liturgical and ceremonial church services. Many Anglicans in this movement found themselves drawn to the "high church" ceremony of the Roman Catholic Church. That was the case for the writer of this week's featured hymn.

Frederick Faber, the son of an English clergyman, was raised in the Calvinist tradition. He was educated at Oxford and was himself an Anglican priest for a few years. Having been influenced by the Oxford Movement, though, he left the Anglican Church and joined the Roman Catholics where he became known as Father Wilfrid. The structure of the mass filled a need in him, but something was missing. In the church where he was raised, he had experienced worship through the singing of hymns by Isaac Watts and others. The Catholic church had hymns, too, but they were not the same. As a result, Faber set himself to write hymns relating the history and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

This week's featured hymn, Faith of Our Fathers, was written by Faber in memory of Roman Catholics who lost their lives in the sixteenth century when Henry VIII broke with Rome and declared himself to be the head of the Church of England. A verse often omitted from the hymn expressed Faber's desire that the Church of England should be reunited with the Roman Catholic Church. In The United Methodist Hymnal, the words appear in the second verse, but they have been adapted to strive for winning all nations to God, not just England. What a wonderful cause! As you read the words, consider the causes that compel us.

1. Faith of our fathers, living still,
in spite of dungeon, fire, and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy
whene'er we hear that glorious word!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.
2. Faith of our fathers, we will strive
to win all nations unto thee;
and through the truth that comes from God,
we all shall then be truly free.
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.
3. Faith of our fathers, we will love
both friend and foe in all our strife;
and preach thee, too, as love knows how
by kindly words and virtuous life.
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

The Wesleys were compelled to advance the causes of the Methodist Societies. Faber was compelled to advance the cause of the church universal. What are the causes that compel us today? Let our causes always be to become more Christ-like.

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.