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Proper 11A / 8th Sunday after Pentecost

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


Songs about openness to the presence of God would link well to the readings and you could consider songs such as Be still for the presence of the Lord (CH 189 / MP 50), Spirit of truth and grace (CH 608), Jesu tawa pano / Jesus we are here (CH 773), The heart of worship (MP 1016 / CCLI), Jesus lead us to the Father (Resound) and Waiting here for you (CCLI).


Today’s psalm is one of the most popular for songwriters so there are lots of options available. O God, you search me and you know me (CH 97) and You are before me, God, you are behind (CH 96) are both excellent metrical settings in contemporary language while In you O Lord I am found (Kimbrough) is a great alternative if you would like something less familiar, with a gentle Country feel and a lovely little refrain which can be a good earworm. Lord, you have searched me (Resound) and Were I to cross from land to land (New Scottish / Grace) would both work well for bands, while Oh, Lord God, you have searched me (PFAS 139F), originally written in Spanish, is also worth considering.


This is the second of three weeks looking at parables about seeds and Come, ye thankful people, come (CH 233 / MP 106), The reign of God, like farmer’s field (CH 343) and O God, you scatter grace like seeds (GIA) all link directly to this parable across a good range of musical styles. You could also consider some more general songs about seeds such as The Seeds of the Kingdom (Kimbrough) and In our lives plant seeds of hope (CH 349).

There are various themes in the Epistle which can be explored. You can focus on being led by the Spirit with songs such as Spirit of the living God (CH 619 / MP 613), Gracious Spirit, hear our pleading (CH 613), Holy Spirit, living breath of God (MP 1183 / CCLI / Getty) and Fresh wind (CCLI). The theme of being children of God could suggest songs such as I am a child of God (MV 157), Behold the amazing gift of love (CH 478), Who you say we are (CCLI) and Children of God (CCLI). Finally, there is the theme of creation groaning which could link to Christ is coming! Let creation (CH 475) and Nature shines with beauty (Resound).

There are a few classic hymns which link to this chapter in Genesis including Nearer, my God, to thee (MP 482), O God of Bethel! by whose hand (CH 268 / MP 907) and the spiritual We are climbing Jacob’s ladder (Hymnary). When God first promised Abram (GIA) could be an interesting alternative as it explores different stories of meeting God in the darkness, including a verse about this story.


No one will ever be the same / We’re going to shine like the sun (WGRG) would be a great closing song as it picks up the final verse of the Gospel reading. You could also look at other songs with themes of hope and looking towards what God’s kingdom will be such as ‘Thy kingdom come!’ - on bended knee (CH 473), Sing a new world into being (GIA), Love divine, all loves excelling (CH 519 / MP 449), Hear the call of the kingdom (MP 1282 / CCLI / Getty) and Build your kingdom here (CCLI) while The Kingdom is yours (Common) starts more reflectively but would build well.

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