Proper 19B

Proverbs 1:20-33

Psalm 19

James 3:1-12

Mark 8:27-38


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


The psalm is a good starting point today with the wonders we see in the sky above us calling us to recognise the glory of God throughout the day and the night. There are some wonderful older hymns which are rooted in these themes such as The spacious firmament on high (CH 148), Awake my soul and with the sun (CH 210 / MP 804) and Jesus shall reign where’er the sun (CH 470 / MP 379). More contemporary options include Indescribable (MP 1170 / CCLI) and God of dawn, each day’s renewal (Hymnary / Hope) which can be sung to Abbot’s Leigh. Let everything that has breath (MP 1001 / CCLI) and From life’s beginning (Let praise resound) (Resound) would more generally pick up the theme of praising God the creator.



Word


The stars declare his glory (CH 10) is a great example of reimagining a psalm in contemporary language while The heavens tell Your glory (Grace) is another option for a metrical version. God’s glory fills the heavens (PFAS 19B) is an arrangement of the music from Haydn’s “The heavens are telling the glory of God” to make it singable as a hymn tune. This is probably not something you would learn from scratch but would be brilliant for a congregation where a lot of people were familiar with the original. Nature shines with beauty (Resound) connects this psalm with other scripture passages about creation and also ties in with Lenten themes in the chorus (“formed us from the dust”).


It’s worth noting that Psalm 19 ends with a verse that is often spoken before a sermon and you could consider a sung version of this such as May the words of my mouth (WGRG), May the words of my mouth (CCLI) or Psalm 19 (CCLI).



Response


The call to take up your cross and follow me in the Gospel has inspired songwriters throughout the generations including well known older hymns such Take up your cross the Saviour said (CH 402 / MP 935) and In the cross of Christ I glory (CH 397 / MP 338) or newer songs such as Jesus you have called us (Resound) and Above the voices of the world around me (MP 5 / Hymnary). The latter has a number of tunes written for it but could also be sung to Londonderry Air. Tree of life and awesome mystery (CH 401) gives a different perspective with a focus on being reborn, while How deep the Father’s love for us (CH 549 / MP 988 / Townend) and I’m not ashamed to own my Lord (CH 645) connect well with the final verse and what it means to be ashamed of Christ.


O Lord, may all we do and say (Carolyn) would be a great hymn to link to the Epistle as it explores the whole book of James. It’s set to Tallis’ Canon and v3 is particularly relevant for today. You could also consider well known songs such as Humbly in your sight (CH 496) and Take my life, Lord, let it be (CH 502 / MP 624) which have particular verses committing our tongues or voices to God, or link back to the final verse of Psalm 19 with the songs suggested above which could link in a similar way.


The Old Testament reading explores wisdom which is an underrepresented topic in congregational song but Holy wisdom, lamp of learning (CH 604), The perfect wisdom of our God (MP 1353 / CCLI / Getty) and Who can measure heaven and earth? (Jubilate)

are all good options. Although more difficult to get hold of, if you have access to She moves where she wishes (A song to wisdom) (link 1 / link 2 / link 3) it is a great song to use as it explores the various feminine descriptions of Wisdom found in Proverbs. You could also consider How happy are all they who hear (CH 686) from the Scottish paraphrases which sets later verses from Proverbs



Sending


Using Eternal God, this earth is charged with grandeur (CCLI) as a closing song would give a nice liturgical arc as it begins with God’s love expressed through the endless splendour of the stars in the sky to seeing it expressed through Jesus on Calvary. It’s written to be sung to How great thou art (CH 154 / MP 506) which has a similar narrative, as does Creation sings the Father's song (MP 1268 / CCLI / Getty). There are also some classic hymns about faith in God which have relevant links; At the name of Jesus (CH 458 / MP 41) could connect to the Epistle with “every tongue confess him” while v2 of Be thou my vision (CH 465 / MP 51) links to wisdom. Build my life (CCLI) and In Christ alone (MP 1072 / CCLI / Getty) would be some more contemporary options about following Christ.


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