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Proper 8A / 5th Sunday after Pentecost


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


The Gospel text is a natural source for a call to worship and offers an opportunity to open with a song about welcome, hospitality and inclusivity. God welcomes all (WGRG) speaks perfectly into this as well as injecting some energy as does Welcome everybody (Fischy). Other options include Here in this place / Gather us in (CH 623), Let us build a house (CH 198), Vagabonds (CCLI), One church, one voice (Satellite) and All are welcome (OCP), with the latter being a great alternative to “Let us build a house”. As a gentler option, Humbly in your sight (CH 496) is a simple refrain from Malawi that links to the body language in Romans.


Word


There are a great selection of contemporary settings of this week's psalm in a range of styles. How long, O Lord, will you forget (CH 7 / MP 848 / PFAS 13D) has some scrunchy jazz harmonies in the accompaniment but with a very singable melody while Psalm 13 (PFAS 13C / CCLI) is a more straightforward CCM style song. How long O Lord (Gordon) was specifically written to be easy for small congregations to use and it can be sung in a round. If you would like to use a familiar hymn tune then How long will you forget me, Lord (PFAS 13D / Jubilate) is in Common Metre and a good fit would be the Scottish psalm tune Martyrdom.


Response


There is an interesting reciprocity to what it means to serve each other in Brother, sister, let me serve you (CH 694 / MP 1261) which can relate to the theme of welcome in Matthew as would Draw the circle wide (MV 145). You could also use many of the songs suggested under the Gathering section, particularly God welcomes all (WGRG).


Take my life, Lord, let it be (CH 502 / MP 624) is a classic hymn which would link to the Epistle which has also been covered by contemporary artists, while God of freedom, God of justice (CH 263) is another text which links well and is set to a well known tune. O Lord Jesus, enfold me in your arms (CH 571) is a beautiful song from Pakistan where a congregation could either sing just the refrain, or else sing as a call and response. Who you say I am (CCLI) picks up themes of freedom and being a slave to sin, while No longer slaves (CCLI) takes us further with our freedom from sin/fear making us children of God.


There are few songs which specifically relate to this section of Genesis but Reflect on what young Isaac felt (link) is a Long Metre text which could be sung to a tune such as O waly waly.


Sending


The passage from Romans offers strong themes for sending, with the focus on freedom from sin and the conclusion with the gift of eternal life. Lord of creation, to you be all praise (CH 500) picks this up and is to a very well known tune. There are also some wonderful African songs that could be used, such as If you believe and I believe (CH 771), Ewe thina / We walk his way (Wild Goose) and Freedom is coming (PFAS 114C / Wild Goose / Hymnary.org). You could also consider Living hope (CCLI) and Amazing grace (CH 555 / MP 31) or its popular contemporary version My chains are gone (MP 1151 / CCLI). If you have been using God welcomes all then you might want to finish by singing the Amen (CH 825) set to the same tune.


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