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Proper 23B / 20th Sunday after Pentecost

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


Jesus calls us here to meet him (CH 510) or Jesus call us o’er the tumult (CH 509 / MP 359) are both well known options which would pick up themes from the Gospel and the Epistle. You could also consider general songs about an openness to God as we come to worship such as Come and see (CCLI), Spirit of truth and grace (CH 608) or The heart of worship (MP 1016 / CCLI). God of the Bible (MV 28 / Hope) is an upbeat, catchy song well worth learning which could link to Job as it explores the faithfulness of God through the hardship and joys of life.


There is a question for me as to whether Psalm 22 is most effective sung congregationally or by a solo voice. For a solo voice the simple plainchant setting of My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me (CH 12) can be very powerful while Psalm 22 (The Psalm Project) is a slightly jazzy setting whose two sections capture both the tenderness and the anguish of the text. For congregational involvement a responsive reading might be an easier way in such as the Scripted Reading (PFAS 22C) which uses the verses of What Wondrous Love Is This (CH 395) as a response or using the heart-wrenching Indonesian-Filipino chorus My God, why have you forsaken me (STB 274).


Simple living (MP 1251 / CCLI / Townend) is a great contemporary song for responding to the Gospel reading today, as it highlights some of Jesus’ teaching around simple living. You could also consider Jesus call us o’er the tumult (CH 509 / MP 359) which speaks of calling, with v3 being particularly relevant, or A rich young man came seeking (STF 243) which is also based on this passage. Will you come and follow me (CH 533) and Lord, you have come to the seashore (CH 532) have both become modern classics and can link in well, particularly with a focus on v2 of the latter.

Where high the heavenly temple stands (CH 451) is a paraphrase of part of the Epistle while there are quite a lot of worship songs which pick up the themes here with Before the throne of God above (CH 466 / MP 975) or You alone can rescue (CCLI) being well known while Faithful to forgive (New Scottish) is worth considering from a Scottish group. With the focus on grace in the last verse an obvious option could be Amazing grace (CH 555 / MP 31) or it’s popular Chris Tomlin version Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) (MP 1151 / CCLI). High Priest (CCLI) could also be a useful option although it is probably more suited to a soloist than a congregation.

O God Why Are You Silent? (MV 73 / GIA) is a powerful hymn of lament set to the equally powerful tune of Passion Chorale which can resonate with the story of Job. We can also find Job’s complaints to God reflected in the psalms, such as the suggestions for Psalm 22 above, settings of Psalm 13 such as How long, O Lord, will you forget (CH 7), How long, O Lord (WGRG) and Psalm 13 (CCLI / PFAS 13C) which is particularly suited to worship bands, or settings of Psalm 130 such as Up from the depths I cry to God (CH 88) or the great Lutheran chorale Out of the depths I cry to you (PFAS 130A / Hymnary). The Taizé chant Dans nos obscurités / Within our darkest night (Taizé) is another option to consider, with its lack of a resolution making it particularly suited to repetitive singing.


The call to follow from the Gospel and what we are told we must do to enter heaven is a strong sending theme with a range of songs that you can use from classic hymns like O Jesus, I have promised (CH 644 / MP 501), contemporary classics such as Beauty for brokenness / God of the poor (CH 259 / MP 806) or Longing for light, we wait in darkness / Christ be our light (CH 543 / MP 1201), Latin American liberation songs like Sent by the Lord am I (CH 250), or worship songs such as Jesus you have called us (Resound) or God of justice (MP 1174 / CCLI). If you have focused on the Epistle then closing songs which would pick up it’s themes could be And can it be that I should gain (CH 396 / MP 33), Join all the glorious names (CH 460 / MP 392) or Your grace is enough (MP 1383 / CCLI).

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