• Iain McLarty

Epiphany 2B

1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20)

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

John 1:43-51


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



Gathering


The Gospel text could offer a starting point today as Jesus calls Philip and Nathanael to follow him with Jesus calls us here to meet him (CH 510) or Jesus call us o’er the tumult (CH 509 / MP 359) both well known options. In the name of Christ we gather (CH 677) is most appropriate for ordinations but could work here in a more general sense around exploring calling. Songs about openness to God speaking to us would also set up themes in the readings so you could consider songs such as Come and see (CCLI), Spirit of truth and grace (CH 608) or The heart of worship (MP 1016 / CCLI). The short Malawian song Humbly in your sight (CH 496) could work well if you are exploring the 1 Corinthians passage, as it looks how our whole bodies belong to God.



Word


The Old Testament passage is interesting to implicitly link to before the reading of Scripture, as the Word of God is revealed to Samuel for the first time and Speak, O Lord (MP 1350 / CCLI / Getty) picks up on the words which Samuel is instructed to respond with when he hears God calling to him.


Psalm 139 is very popular with songwriters so there is a wide choice of settings. O God, you search me and you know me (CH 97 / MP 1343) is probably the best known and of the two options in CH4 it better covers the verses from the lectionary, although it is perhaps in danger of being oversung these days. I really like In you O Lord I am found (Kimbrough) as an alternative, with a gentle Country feel and a lovely little refrain which can be a good earworm. Oh, Lord God, you have searched me (PFAS 139F), originally written in Spanish, would be another option if you like songs that are a little slushy!



Response


Speak, Lord, in the stillness (MP 608 / Jubilate), Be still and know (CH 755 / MP 48) or the African-American Spiritual Hush! Hush! (Hymnary / MV 167) would all speak well into the story of Samuel and the moment he lies down to listen to God. Lord, speak to me, that I may speak (CH 542 / MP 444) takes a similar starting point but moves beyond just the moment of listening to the actions which come after that.


The Epistle is challenging text to find songs related to which aren’t very general songs about discipleship. Take my life, Lord, let it be (CH 502 / MP 624) would be a classic hymn choice, asking God to take our body and being, while Union with Christ (New Scottish) is a more contemporary option which connects particularly with the verse “anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him”. Sacred the body God has created (STF 618 / link) is a unique hymn exploring the theology of the body which was originally written to speak into issues of battering and abuse using Paul’s concept of the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit (a fuller discussion of this can be found here).


Will you come and follow me (CH 533) and Lord, you have come to the seashore (CH 532) have both become modern classics and would be obvious choices to respond to the Gospel passage. Come with me, come wander / Sing hey for the carpenter (WGRG / STF 462) is more explicitly about the calling of the disciples, although it can be a bit of a tongue-twister and probably better suited to a soloist taking the verses and the congregation joining in with the refrain. Jesus you have called us (Resound) or We say yes (CCLI) could be good options for worship bands.



Sending


I, the Lord of sea and sky (CH 251) is commonly associated with today’s Old Testament passage with its chorus of “Here I am Lord” but would be appropriate for the other texts too. Other songs of commitment to consider are Build my life (CCLI) or I will offer up my life (CCLI). Sizohamba naye / 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 after a focus on following Jesus.


Picking up the body image in the Epistle, God loved the world so much (WGRG book / WGRG album) is a wonderful text set to the tune Wondrous Love which speaks of giving ourselves “body, mind, heart and soul” and we can find similar themes in Forth in the peace of Christ we go (CH 646) and Lord of creation, to you be all praise (CH 500). You could also finish



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