The Gifts of God
Judges 4:1-7 Matthew 25:14-30
This week’s music:
“Eternal, Unchanging, We Sing” (VU #223)
“Eternal, Unchanging, we sing to your praise:
Your mercies are endless, and righteous your ways;
Your servants proclaim the renown of your name
Who rules over all and is ever the same.
Again we rejoice in the world you have made,
Your mighty creation in beauty arrayed,
We thank you for life, and we praise you for joy,
For love and for hope that no power can destroy.
We praise you for Jesus, our Master and Lord,
The might of his Spirit, the truth of his word,
His comfort in sorrow, his patience in pain,
The faith sure and steadfast that Jesus shall reign.”
This is one of R.B.Y. Scott’s early hymns, first published in 1938. The tune, ST. DENIO, is a traditional Welsh melody adapted into a hymn tune during the Welsh revivals at the turn of the 19th century. It is also the tune used by Ralph Vaughan Williams with the hymn “Immortal, Invisible.” The lyrics bring to mind the infinite nature of God, and give thanks for the Creation and the gifts of Jesus and the Spirit.
Hear the melody on pipe organ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqgQ3_VcaKw
“Take My Gifts” (Tune VU #460)
“Take my gifts and let me love you,
God who first of all loved me,
Gave me light and food and shelter,
Gave me life and set me free,
Now because your love has touched me,
I have love to give away,
Now the bread of love is rising,
Loaves of love to multiply!
Take whatever I can offer –
Gifts that I have yet to find,
Skills that I am slow to sharpen,
Talents of the hand and mind,
Things made beautiful for others
In the place where I must be:
Take my gifts and let me love you,
God who first of all loved me.”
The words for this hymn were written by Shirley Erena Murray (1992). The words remind us that, as we have been blessed by God, we should share our gifts with others. We will be using the tune HOLY MANNA.
“God Loves a Cheerful Giver”
“God loves a cheerful giver, give it all you’ve got.
He loves to hear you laughing when you’re in an awkward spot.
When the odds add up against you, it’s time to stop and sing:
“Praise God!” To praise him is a joyous thing.
Peter always made a fuss,
Peter was impetuous,
He knew hard times when he denied his Lord.
But hardly had he fallen when he got right up, began again.
Christ named him His successor as his reward.
Jonah was a gloomy sort,
He always had a sad report,
He ran from God, he ran and he set sail.
His journey’s end was quite abrupt,
A fish came by and swallowed him up.
He spent three dark and dreary days inside the whale.
Holy Job was richly blessed,
He lost it all but stood the test,
For Job was steadfast in his misery.
‘God gives to me, He takes away,
Blessed be the name of God this day.’
And he was doubly blessed for his fidelity.”
This peppy tune by the Medical Mission Sisters encourages us to be faithful and give God praise, even in difficult times.
“I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me” (VU #575)
“I’m gonna live so God can use me anywhere, Lord, any time.
I’m gonna work so God can use me anywhere, Lord, any time.
I’m gonna pray so God can use me anywhere, Lord, any time.
I’m gonna sing so God can use me anywhere, Lord, any time.”
This traditional African-American spiritual is from the Presbyterian Hymnal (1990).
“Amen!” (VU #974)
“Amen, amen, hallelujah, amen!
Amen, amen, hallelujah, amen!”
Our benediction response this week was written by Jim Strathdee (1985).