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Epiphany 2A


You can find a YouTube playlist here with many of the songs suggested below.



Gathering


The theme of being called by God is present across the readings today and being called to worship could offer a starting point with songs such as Jesus calls us here to meet him (CH 510), Jesus call us o’er the tumult (CH 509 / MP 359) and Come now is the time to worship (CH 196 / MP 1040) some well known options while alternatives include In the name of Christ we gather (CH 677), Jesus lead us to the Father (Resound) and Rise and shine (CCLI).



Word


I waited for the Lord my God (CH 30), To the Lord I looked in patience (Jubilate)

and I waited patiently for God (CH 31 / WGRG) are all good metrical options for the psalm, with the choice probably dependent on whether you prefer the language of the Scottish Psalter in the former or a more contemporary setting such as the latter two. The latter is also sometimes sung to Amazing Grace (New Britain). Here I am (GIA) is an accessible responsorial setting with a chorus which could be picked up quickly and verses either sung or read by a single voice. Bands could consider using either Worthy of affection (CCLI) or My Master (CCLI) while it’s worth mentioning 40 (link) by U2, as while it’s not particularly suited for congregational singing, it could be used reflectively.



Response


Some of the same songs as last week will fit well with the first part of the Gospel reading where John talks about baptism including Out of the flowing river (CH 335), When Jesus came to Jordan (Hymnary) and The sinless one to Jordan came (NEH 58). This is also where the words of the Agnus Dei come from and so there are many options available for singing these words with a few of my top suggestions being John Bell’s Behold the Lamb of God 1 (WGRG / Hymnary), the Agnus Dei from James MacMillan’s St Anne Mass (CH 653) or Ya hamala Allah (Hymnary) by Yusuf Khill from Palestine. The second part of the Gospel focuses more on following Jesus and could link to songs such as Will you come and follow me (CH 533), I will offer up my life (CH 503 / MP 990 / CCLI) or Jesus you have called us (Resound).


The Church is wherever God’s people are praising (CH 522) could link to the Epistle as it is sending greetings to a faithful community and acknowledging them as part of the wider church. You could also look at songs of discipleship which celebrate God acting through people and in our communities such as To God be the glory (CH 512 / MP 708), Your hand, O God, has guided (CH 511 / MP 705), God of this city (CCLI) and Yet not I but through Christ in me (CCLI).


There are two particularly notable pieces of imagery in the Old Testament. The first is the repeated imagery of being called by God while in the womb and you might want to use O God, you search me and you know me (CH 97), Loving Spirit, loving Spirit (CH 597), No longer slaves (CCLI) or From our mothers wombs, you know us (GIA) which all pick up that theme, with the latter also linking to the baptismal theme in the Gospel. There is also the theme of a light to the nations and there are songs in a range of styles which link to this including Immortal, invisible, God only wise (CH 132 / MP 327), Christe, lux mundi (Taizé), You are the light (CCLI) and Christ be our light (CH 543 / MP 1201).



Sending


The Baptist bore witness (GIA) would tie up all of today’s readings and can be sung to the well known tune St Denio. There is a broad theme of being called by God which could be picked up by songs of commitment such as I, the Lord of sea and sky (CH 251), Build my life (CCLI), Send me (CCLI) or I will offer up my life (MP 990 / CCLI). Short songs from Africa such as We will walk with God (CH 803), Ewe thina / We walk his way (WGRG) and Siyahamba / We are marching (CH 516 / MP 954) could also make good sending songs with a focus on following Jesus.


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