Epiphany 5B

Isaiah 40:21-31

Psalm 147:1-11, 20c

1 Corinthians 9:16-23

Mark 1:29-39


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



Gathering


Isaiah often offers us wonderful imagery and vv.28-31 could be a source of inspiration for a call to worship this week. Everlasting God / Strength will rise (CCLI) draws strongly on this passage and would make a great opening song while Our God saves (MP 1192 / CCLI) would be an alternative. O worship the King all glorious above (CH 127) and God is love: let heaven adore him (CH 123 / MP 528) are options for hymns which would relate to this and they could also link into the psalm with its themes of singing praise to God the great creator. You could also use the psalm for a call to worship and might then want to consider opening songs such as Come, children, join and sing (CH 185), Immortal, invisible, God only wise (CH 132 / MP 327) and My Jesus, my Saviour / Shout to the Lord (CH 531 / MP 1003 / CCLI). The recent Doxecology album from Resound also offers a few options such as Let all creation sing (Resound) and God of immeasurable might (Resound), both inspired by psalms with similar themes. Praise the One who breaks the darkness (CH 348) is a great contemporary hymn which picks up the theme of singing praise but would also link into the Gospel story.



Word


Fill your hearts with joy and gladness (CH 103) and Music to the Lord is right (Grace) are both good options for those looking for a straightforward metrical setting of Psalm 147. Sing to God with joy (WGRG) has a joyful congregational chorus but would need a choir or soloist to sing the verses. Praise, praise the Lord (PFAS 147B) is a catchy song from the Philippines which puts more emphasis on the healing verses in the psalm, linking well with today’s Gospel reading. For those looking for a responsorial setting, Bless the Lord my soul (GIA / Hymnary) also has this emphasis by using v3.



Response


The passage from Isaiah has inspired many songwriters throughout the centuries. Art thou afraid his power shall fail (CH 190) and Hast thou not known, hast thou not heard (Hymnary) are both complete metrical paraphrases from the 18th century while They that wait upon the Lord (CCLI) and Those who wait on the Lord (SGP 106) are simple choruses focused on the last few verses. Verse 31 has inspired more contemporary songwriters in songs such as Eagle’s wings (MP 1055 / CCLI), I will rise (CCLI), and We will wait (CCLI). Waiting here for you (CCLI) could also link with this thematically as could the popular Roman Catholic hymn On Eagle’s Wings (OCP) which is a setting of Psalm 91.


You are called to tell the story (CH 680) would link nicely with the Epistle, matching its mix of a call to mission with the need to do that in community. Lord, speak to me, that I may speak (CH 542 / MP 444) and O Lord Jesus, enfold me in your arms (CH 571), with its beautiful Pakistani melody, are more general devotional songs asking for support in a missional life. Make me a channel of your peace (CH 528 / MP 456) is the classic setting of the Prayer of St Francis which echoes “to the weak I became weak” in v22.

Some of the songs suggested for last week’s Gospel passage would also be relevant this week with further stories of healing. When Jesus the healer (CH 350) is a lively song which looks at many different stories of healing in the Gospels while Jesus Christ is waiting (CH 360) has verses about different aspects of Jesus’ ministry which could be appropriate since this is the first public demonstration of it in Mark and in this lectionary year. Lord of life, we come to you (CH 782), O Christ the healer we have come (CH 717) and We cannot measure how you heal (CH 718) turn the focus onto our prayers for healing in ourselves and people we know. Blest be God (CH 267) and El mensaje que hoy proclamamos / Hear the message we now are proclaiming (H 46) move us beyond just a focus on healing to a cry for justice - the message which Jesus is proclaiming.



Sending


The Epistle gives us a call to “proclaim the gospel” while the Gospel also finishes with Jesus “proclaiming the message” so classic hymns which are about sending and proclaiming such as We have a gospel to proclaim (CH 363 / MP 728), Send out the gospel! Let it sound (CH 681) and We've a story to tell to the nations (MP 744) would tie in well while more recent songs to consider could be Hear the call of the kingdom (MP 1282 / CCLI / Getty) and My lighthouse (CCLI). The sense of Jesus moving throughout Galilee also lends itself to African songs about walking with God such as 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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