Suggested Hymns from

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Unifying Theme:
Christ in and over all
Scripture Theme Hymns
Acts 10:44-48 Believing in Christ 337: Only Trust Him
357: Just as I Am, Without One Plea
372: How Can We Sinners Know
417: O For a Heart to Praise My God
591: Rescue the Perishing
714: I Know Whom I Have Believed
Psalm 98 Singing a new song 156: I Love to Tell the Story
165: Hallelujah! What a Savior
568: Christ for the World We Sing
712: I Sing a Song of the Saints of God
732: Come, We That Love the Lord
1 John 5:1-6 Overcoming through Christ 374: Standing on the Promises
513: Soldiers of Christ, Arise
555: Forward Through the Ages
569: We've a Story to Tell to the Nations
580: Lead On, O King Eternal
John 15:9-17 Loving one another in Christ 550: Christ, from Whom All Blessings Flow
557: Blest Be the Tie That Binds
561: Jesus, United by Thy Grace

Featured Hymn
Christ for the World We Sing

Hymn #568
Text: Samuel Wolcott, 1813-1886
Music: Felice de Giardini, 1716-1796
Tune: ITALIAN HYMN, Meter: 664.6664

The "real deal." All by themselves, these words have a powerful meaning. They grab your attention because they raise an expection of something good, something authentic, something unique. If an athlete is the "real deal," it says that they aren't just lucky; they have the skill and dedication to perform consistently at a high level. If a leader is the "real deal," it says that they don't achieve good results by coincidence; they have the ability instill a vision in people to work together toward a goal, and to make good decisions along the way.

Jesus Christ is the Real Deal. Fully God, fully man, fully perfect. Something good, something authentic, something unique. He came because the only thing that could save His creation was the Real Deal. "After market" products just won't do the job. Luck has no place in the process. Only the Real Deal brings salvation.

Because Christ is the Real Deal, to be Christians (Christ-like), we have to be the real deal, too. The "real deal" in the pulpit is a preacher who delivers God's message that touches the heart and inspires a congregation to action. The "real deal" in the choir loft is an ensemble that raises a joyful noise that carries God's people forward with a song in their hearts. The "real deal" in the pews is a congregation motivated to pray, to gather, to give, and to serve.

This week's featured hymn was written by Samuel Wolcott. Born at South Windsor, Connecticut, in 1813, Wolcott's family already had a long history in the Americas. His first ancestor to imigrate to the "new world" was Henry Wolcott, who arrived in Massachusetts Bay with his wife Elizabeth Saunders in 1630. Before this, Henry had inherited a wealthy estate in England, but left it behind for the promise of religious freedom in Massachusetts. Six years later he moved once more to Windsor, Connecticut, where he was among the leading figures in establishing and running the local government. In spite of personal wealth in England and personal influence in his new home, the driving motivation in Henry's life would always revolve around the right to worship God. To Henry Wolcott, living the life of faith was "the real deal."

It is hardly surprising that some six generations later, Samuel Wolcott's life also reflected a high level of religious commitment and fervor. After completing his studies at Yale in 1833 and graduating from Andover Theological Seminary in 1837, Wolcott began a life of ministry that would carry him around the world and throughout many communities of the northeastern United States. It is said that he wrote no hymns before age 55. Then, on February 7, 1869, Wolcott returned home from a YMCA evangelistic service and penned the words to one of his first hymns, a missionary hymn titled "Christ for the World We Sing." From that point forward, Wolcott would write over 200 hymns. Roughly a dozen still appear in hymnals today. The words carry a clear, authentic message because they come from his very real, personal experiences as a missionary and pastor, and a real, personal faith in Christ. Verse by verse, Wolcott takes us through a lifetime of a loving zeal to bring aid, a fervent prayer for God's help, a single mindedness in service, and a joyful praise for souls saved. As you read the words of this hymn, remember that they were "the real deal" to Wolcott, and they are still just as real for us today.

1. Christ for the world we sing,
the world to Christ we bring,
with loving zeal;
the poor, and them that mourn,
the faint and overborne,
sinsick and sorrow-worn,
whom Christ doth heal.
2. Christ for the world we sing,
the world to Christ we bring,
with fervent prayer;
the wayward and the lost,
by restless passions tossed,
redeemed at countless cost,
from dark despair.
3. Christ for the world we sing,
the world to Christ we bring,
with one accord;
with us the work to share,
with us reproach to dare,
with us the cross to bear,
for Christ our Lord.
4. Christ for the world we sing,
the world to Christ we bring,
with joyful song;
the newborn souls, whose days,
reclaimed from error's ways,
inspired with hope and praise,
to Christ belong.

Christ is the Real Deal. Be like Christ. Be the real deal in the world today!

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.