Proper 18B

Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23

Psalm 125

James 2:1-10, 14-17

Mark 7:24-37


In 2021 this Sunday occurs during Creation Time and suggestions for songs which can be used to complement or substitute for the lectionary based material can be found here. You can find a YouTube playlist here with many of the songs suggested below.



Gathering


There is a running theme in the readings of a God for all people so it would be very appropriate to begin by offering everyone an open invitation to join in worship together. Here in this place / Gather us in (CH 623), Let us build a house (CH 198) and Jesus calls us here to meet him (CH 510) all speak of the diversity of those called together by Jesus while Together (link) is a song about being brought together in worship with family, neighbours and rivals. Come now is the time to worship (CH 196 / MP 1040) has the invitation to “come just as you are”, Come one, come all (Gordon) is a call to all of creation so would be appropriate during Creation Time, while One church, one voice (Satellite), with its wonderfully easy but catchy refrain, has a repeated call for oneness in each verse.



Word


The psalm today doesn’t have many settings with the two most approachable metrical options being Those who place on God reliance (PFAS 125C) or All who with heart confiding (Grace), which could be sung to a tune such as Aurelia or Thornbury. The chorus (Shalom, shalom) of I rejoiced when I heard them say (CH 83 / PFAS 125A), a setting one of the other Psalms of Ascent, makes for a good responsorial option.



Response


There are many songs about healing which could link into the Gospel today, including Silence! Frenzied, unclean spirit (link), which can be sung to Ebenezer and was written to fill the gap of songs which speak about Jesus casting out demons as in this reading. 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.


The Epistle and the Old Testament both highlight God’s priority for the poor and it’s perhaps not surprising that two songs written for Christian Aid pick up these themes, with God of all comfort (Resound) bridging the divide between hymns and worship songs, while When out of poverty is born (CH 291) picks up the line about sharing bread from Proverbs. The Lord of the earth (WGRG) is inspired by Óscar Romero and call us to “respond to the cries of the poor”. When the hungry who have nothing / Cuando el Pobre (CH 258) is one of the few songs from Spain to become widely sung in English speaking churches and it focuses on God accompanying us in difficult times. Inspired by love and anger (CH 253) picks up on many of the themes from these readings with the reference to position and wealth in v3 something not touched on in many songs. Beauty for brokenness / God of the poor (CH 259 / MP 806) is an intercessory song which names many issues in the world and asks God to help us respond.



Sending


As with last week we’re called to action and not just to faith so Go to the world! Go into all the earth (CH 683) and Sent by the Lord am I (CH 250) are both worth considering again on this theme. Longing for light, we wait in darkness / Christ be our light (CH 543 / MP 1201) is a sending song with each verse asking God to “make us” into signs of the kingdom while I, the Lord of sea and sky (CH 251) is a classic choice for dedicating ourselves to action. Heaven shall not wait (CH 362) or God of justice (MP 1174 / CCLI) would pick up God’s priority for the poor more explicitly with both also highlighting the way in which Jesus modelled how we should live.


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