Suggested Hymns from

Sundays After Pentecost

Proper 27[32]

Unifying Themes:
Lives of humble faith, obedience, and gratitude to God
enjoy the infinite kindness and blessing from God

Scripture Theme Hymns
Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17
1 Kings 17:8-16
Kindness upon kindness
Provision through faith and obedience
385: Let Us Plead for Faith Alone
672: God Be with You till We Meet Again
673: God Be with You till We Meet Again
Psalm 127
Psalm 146
Good fruits are from the Lord
The Lord cares and protects forever
130: God Will Take Care of You
685: Now, on Land and Sea Descending
Mark 12:38-44 Love mercy and walk humbly; a small gift from the heart is greater than a large gift from the purse 351: Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior
587: Bless Thou the Gifts
Hebrews 9:24-28 The perfect and eternal sacrifice of Christ 290: Go to Dark Gethsemane
355: Depth of Mercy

Featured Hymn
God Be With You Till We Meet Again

Hymn #672
Words by Jeremiah E. Rankin
Music by William G. Tomer

Companionship and fellowship and are part and parcel of the human condition and Christian life. Sometimes we fail to recognize our needs in these areas, but they are very real. I spend half of my time working outside of my home country. While away, I am able to talk with my spouse once each day for up to half an hour. We miss each other, but our days feel much better after we have had contact. Nothing else satisfies that need.

Still, people try to fool themselves into believing that they are self sufficient. They adopt illusions that they can do everything all by themselves and all on their own. A case in point: expansion of the United States across the North American continent is often attributed to the drive and the determination of "rugged individualists." But the truth is that every story clearly reflects the interdependence of people. Explorers and pioneers would blaze new trails--and return to tell the tale. Even the most independent of them had to share their discoveries. They needed others, sometimes to go where they went, and always as a place to return.

We still need each other today. Every single one of us. Even more than that, though, we need God. When we walk with God, we can never be alone. And when we have walked with the Lord, we need to gather again to share that good news. We part, and we meet again.

This week's featured hymn was written by Jeremiah Rankin, a minister in Washington, D.C. There was no special occasion for the hymn. No one in particular inspired it. This hymn may have the most boring origin of any hymn ever written. The idea for the first stanza presented itself when Rankin was looking in the dictionary. He found the word, "good-bye." To his surprise--and to mine!--he learned that it is an English contraction from the late 16th century. Its meaning? "God be with you." Seizing upon that idea, he wrote the hymn as a way for his congregation to say good-bye at the end of services. Keep that story in mind as you read the words:

1. God be with you till we meet again;
by his counsels guide, uphold you,
with his sheep securely fold you;
God be with you till we meet again.
2. God be with you till we meet again;
neath his wings securely hide you,
daily manna still provide you;
God be with you till we meet again.
3. God be with you till we meet again;
when life's perils thick confound you,
put his arms unfailing round you;
God be with you till we meet again.
4. God be with you till we meet again;
keep love's banner floating o'er you,
smite death's threatening wave before you;
God be with you till we meet again.
Till we meet, till we meet,
till we meet at Jesus' feet;
till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.
The next time that someone tells you, "This isn't good-bye. I'll see you later," just smile and tell them, "Good-bye, and I'll see you later." God be with you always!

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.