Category Archives: My Favorites

Let streams of living justice flow

Let streams of living justice flow down upon the earth;
give freedom’s light to captives, let all the poor have worth.
The hungry’s hands are pleading, the workers claim their rights,
the mourners long for laughter, the blinded seek for sight.
Make liberty a beacon, strike down the iron power;
abolish ancient vengeance: proclaim your people’s hour.

For healing of the nations, for peace that will not end,
for love that makes us lovers, God grant us grace to mend.
Weave our varied gifts together; knit our lives as they are spun;
on your loom of time enroll us till our thread of life is run.
O great weaver of our fabric, bind church and world in one;
dye our texture with your radiance, light our colors with your sun.

Your city’s built to music; we are the stones you seek;
your harmony is language; we are the words you speak.
Our faith we find in service, our hope in others’ dreams,
our love in hand of neighbor; our homeland brightly gleams.
Inscribe our hearts with justice; your way—the path untried;
your truth—the heart of stranger; your life—the Crucified.

–Words: William Whitla (b. 1934)
–Music: Thaxted (Gustav Holst, 1874-1934)

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The Summons

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
      Will you let my love be shown,
      will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
      Will you risk the hostile stare
      should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?

Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?
      Will you kiss the leper clean
      and do such as this unseen,
And admit to what I mean in you and you in me?

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
      Will you use the faith you’ve found
      to reshape the world around
Through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

Lord, your summons echoes true when I but call your name!
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
      In your company I’ll go
      where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

–Words & Music: John L. Bell (b. 1949) of the Iona Community

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Jesu, meine Freude (BWV 227)

Jesu, meine Freude,
meines Herzens Weide,
Jesu, meine Zier!
Ach wie lang, ach lange,
ise dem Herzen bange
und verlangt nach dir!
Gottes Lamm, mein Bräutigam,
außer dir soll mir auf Erden
nichts sonst Liebers werden.
(“Jesu, meine Freude,” verse 1)
1. Chorale
Jesus, my joy,
my heart’s pasture,
Jesus, my treasure!
Ah, how long, ah long
has my heart suffered
and longed for you!
God’s lamb, my bridegroom,
besides You on earth
nothing shall be dearer to me.
2. Chor
Es ist nun nichts Verdammliches an denen, die in Christo Jesu sind, die nicht nach dem Fleische wandeln, sondern nach dem Geist. (Romans 8:1)
2. Chorus
Now there is nothing damnable in those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk after the way of the flesh, but after the way of the Spirit.
3. Choral
Unter deinen Schirmen
Bin ich für den Stürmen
Aller Feinde frei.
Laß den Satan wittern,
Laß den Feind erbittern,
Mir steht Jesus bei.
Ob es itzt gleich kracht und blitzt,
Ob gleich Sünd und Hölle schrecken,
Jesus will mich decken.
(“Jesu, meine Freude,” verse 2)
3. Chorale
Under your protection
I am safe from the storms
of all enemies.
Let Satan rage,
let the enemy fume,
Jesus stands with me.
Whether now it thunders and flashes,
whether sin and Hell terrify,
Jesus will protect me.
4. Chor
Denn das Gesetz des Geistes, der da lebendig machet in Christo Jesu, hat mich frei gemacht von dem Gesetz der Sünde und des Todes. (Romans 8:2)
4. Chorus
For the law of the spirit, which gives life in Christ Jesus,
has made me free from the law of sin and death.
5. Choral
Trotz dem alten Drachen,
trotz des Todes Rachen,
trotz der Furcht dazu!
Tobe, Welt, und springe;
ich steh hier und singe
in gar sichrer Ruh!
Gottes Macht hält mich in acht;
Erd und Abgrund muß verstummen,
ob sie noch so brummen.
(“Jesu, meine Freude,” verse 3)
5. Chorale
Defiance to the old dragon,
defiance to the vengeance of death,
defiance to fear as well!
Rage, world, and attack;
I stand here and sing
in entirely secure peace!
God’s strength holds me in watch;
earth and abyss must fall silent,
however much they might rumble.
6. Chor
Ihr aber seid nicht fleischlich, sondern geistlich, so anders Gottes Geist in euch wohnet. Wer aber Christi Geist nicht hat, der ist nicht sein. (Romans 8:9)
6. Chorus
You, however, are not of the flesh, but rather of the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives otherwise in you. Anyone, however, who does not have Christ’s Spirit, is not His.
7. Chorale
Weg mit allen Schätzen,
du bist mein Ergötzen,
Jesu, meine Lust!
Weg, ihr eitlen Ehren,
ich mag euch nicht hören,
bleibt mir unbewußt!
Elend, Not, Kreuz, Schmach und Tod
soll mich, ob ich viel muß leiden,
nicht von Jesu scheiden.
(“Jesu, meine Freude,” verse 5)
7. Chorale
Away with all treasures,
you are my delight,
Jesus, my joy!
Away, you vain honors,
I don’t want to listen to you,
remain unknown to me!
Misery, want, torture, shame and death
shall, although I must suffer much,
never part me from Jesus.
8. Chor
So aber Christus in euch ist, so ist der Leib zwar tot um der Sünde willen; der Geist aber ist das Leben um der Gerechtigkeit willen. (Romans 8:10)
8. Chorus
However if Christ is in you, then the body is dead indeed for the sake of sin; but the spirit is life for the sake of righteousness.
9. Chorale
Gute Nacht, o Wesen,
Das die Welt erlesen!
Mir gefällst du nicht.
Gute Nacht, ihr Sünden,
Bleibet weit dahinten,
Kommt nicht mehr ans Licht!
Gute Nacht, du Stolz und Pracht!
Dir sei ganz, du Lasterleben,
Gute Nacht gegeben!
(“Jesu, meine Freude,” verse 6)
9. Chorale
Good night, existence
that cherishes the world!
You do not please me.
Good night, sins,
stay far away,
never again come to light!
Good night, pride and glory!
To you utterly, life of corruption,
be good night given!
10. Chor
So nun der Geist des, der Jesum von den Toten auferwecket hat, in euch wohnet, so wird auch derselbige, der Christum von den Toten auferwecket hat, eure sterblichen Leiber lebendig machen, um des willen, daß sein Geist in euch wohnet.
(Romans 8:11)
10. Chorus
Therefore now since the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, that same who raised Christ from the dead will make your mortal bodies living, for the sake of His spirit that dwells in you.
11. Chorale
Weicht, ihr Trauergeister,
denn mein Freudenmeister,
Jesus, tritt herein.
Denen, die Gott lieben,
muß auch ihr Betrüben
lauter Zucker sein.
Duld’ ich schon hier Spott und Hohn,
dennoch bleibst du auch im Leide,
Jesu, meine Freude.
(“Jesu, meine Freude,” verse 7)
11. Chorale
Hence, you spirits of sadness,
for my Master of joy,
Jesus, comes here.
For those who love God,
even their troubles
must be pure sugar.
Though I endure mockery and shame here already,
nevertheless you stay with me even in sorrow,
Jesus, my joy.
“Jesu, meine Freude,” Johann Franck 1650 (movts. 1,3,5,7,9,11); Romans 8:1-2,9-11 (movts. 2,4,6,8,10)

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Lord, for ever at thy side

Lord, for ever at thy side
let my place and portion be,
strip me of the robe of pride,
clothe me with humility.

–Stanza one from “Lord, for ever at thy side”, hymn 670 in The Hymnal 1982

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Justice, Mercy, Humility

What does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8b

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Jesus lives! Thy terrors now

Jesus lives! thy terrors now
can no longer, death, appall us;
Jesus lives! by this we know
thou, O grave, canst not enthrall us.

Jesus lives! henceforth is death
but the gate of life immortal;
this shall calm our trembling breath
when we pass its gloomy portal.

Jesus lives! for us he died;
then, alone to Jesus living,
pure in heart may we abide,
glory to our Savior giving.

Jesus lives! our hearts know well
nought from us his love shall sever;
life, nor death, nor powers of hell
tear us from his keeping ever.

Jesus lives! to him the throne
over all the world is given:
may we go where he has gone,
rest and reign with him in heaven.

Words: Christian Friedrich Gellert (1715-1769), 1757;
trans. Frances E. Cox (1812-1897), 1841
Tune: ST. ALBINUS (Henry John Gauntlett, 1805-1876)

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Colossians 1:11-14

May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from God’s glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. God has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Continue reading here.

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Greater Love

Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can the floods drown it. Love is strong as death.
Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,
That we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.
Ye are washed, ye are sanctified,
Ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation;
That ye should show forth the praises of him
who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
I beseech you brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies, a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Music: John Ireland (1879-1962)
Words: Song of Solomon, John 15, I Peter 2, I Corinthians 6, Romans 12

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The Souls of the Righteous

The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God, and the pain of death shall not touch them.
To the eyes of the foolish, they seemed to perish, but they are in peace.

–Words: Widsom 3:1-3
–Music: Geraint Lewis (born 1958)

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Pilgrims’ Hymn

Even before we call on Your name
To ask You, O God,
When we seek for the words to glorify You,
You hear our prayer;
Unceasing love, O unceasing love,
Surpassing all we know.

Glory to the father,
and to the Son,
And to the Holy Spirit.

Even with darkness sealing us in,
We breathe Your name,
And through all the days that follow so fast,
We trust in You;
Endless Your grace, O endless Your grace,
Beyond all mortal dream.

Both now and forever,
And unto ages and ages,

–Words by Michael Dennis Browne
–Music by Stephen Paulus (1949-2014)

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