• Iain McLarty

Epiphany 3B

Jonah 3:1-5, 10

Psalm 62:5-12

1 Corinthians 7:29-31

Mark 1:14-20


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



Gathering


The Gospel story this week is another account of the calling of the disciples, and the same songs as last week would work as an opening 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 other possibility could be to use the psalm and sing of our hope and trust in God. Some hymns you could consider are You servants of God (CH 130 / MP 784), Every new morning (CH 213) and In Christ alone (MP 1072 / CCLI / Getty). Sing of the Lord’s goodness (CH 157) is quite old now but still has a distinctive feel with it’s 5/4 time signature. Great are you Lord (CCLI) and Let his praise be on our lips (Satellite) would be more recent options.



Word


Psalm 62 has a lot of good options. If you are looking for a metrical version then Only on God, do thou, my soul (CH 42) is the setting from the Scottish Psalter while Wait my soul (Grace) and My soul finds rest in God alone (PFAS 62C) are in more contemporary language and sung to well known hymn tunes. My soul finds rest (PFAS 62B / CCLI / Townend) sits in the mid point between contemporary hymns and worship songs that works well for many congregations but for bands I would be more tempted toward I’ll not be shaken (Grace / Kimbrough) or Find rest, O my soul (Resound) by less well known writers. On God alone I wait silently (WGRG) and For God, my soul waits in silence (GIA) are both beautiful reflective choruses and would be great options for a responsorial psalm. The latter also has the option for a cantor to sing the verses.



Response


If you are focused on the Old Testament then Inspired by love and anger (CH 253) can speak into the behaviour which the city of Ninevah is repenting from in Jonah, especially verses 3 and 4 which are given as optional. Forgiveness is your gift (CH 361) speaks more into God’s response and forgiveness and is set to a beautiful Gaelic folk melody while You alone can rescue (CCLI) reflects on our inability to rescue and heal ourselves. Teach us, O loving heart of Christ (CH 488) would allow you to reflect on the current state of the world and the need for repentance and forgiveness.


As well as paraphrases of the Psalm mentioned above there are a few songs which draw strongly on it and could offer a good response if you’ve preached on it. Held by this hope (Satellite) uses much of the imagery about God while In God alone my soul can find / Mon âme se repose (Taizé) and Still my soul, be still (CCLI / Getty) can link to v5 as a starting point.


The Epistle isn’t giving us a lot to work with for general suggestions without knowing the lens through which you might preach on it but Abide with me (CH 580 / MP 4) can relate to the “present form of this world is passing away”. You could also use songs about dedicating ourselves to Christ such as I will offer up my life (CH 503 / MP 990 / CCLI) or Take my life, Lord, let it be (CH 502 / MP 624).


The same songs as suggested for the Gospel last week will be relevant for this week. 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. Two other possibilities are Dear Lord and Father of mankind (CH 485 / MP 111), which mentions the calling of the disciples in its second verse, and Would I have answered when you called (STF 674), which asks what our response would have been.



Sending


All my hope on God is founded (CH 192 / MP 16) would be a good closing hymn, related to the psalm but also to the call to follow. Hear the call of the kingdom (MP 1282 / CCLI / Getty) is even more explicit on this with the line in the chorus “we will answer the call, we will follow” while O Jesus, I have promised (CH 644 / MP 501) has a similar theme of commitment and two excellent tunes to choose from. You can also use some of the songs suggested last week such as Build my life (CCLI) or the African songs Sizohamba naye / We will walk with God (CH 803), Ewe thina / We walk his way (WGRG) or Siyahamba / We are marching (CH 516 / MP 954).


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