Lessons & Hymns for Sunday, March 30, 2014

by the Rev. William P. McLemore

SCRIPTURE REFLECTIONS: The Old Testament reading is from I Samuel 16:1-13 records the effort of Samuel to select a successor for King Saul whom God rejected and his selection of the ruddy young David. Psalm 23 is the well-known “Lord is My Shepherd” reading. The Epistle, Ephesians 5:8-14 tells the familiar Pauline theme of Christ delivering us from darkness. The Gospel, John 9:1-41, is the story of Jesus healing the blind man and his dialogue with his disciples about the subject of “sin.”


PROCESSIONAL HYMN: No. 7. “Christ Who’s Glory Fills the Skies.” This hymn was written by Charles Wesley (1707-1786) which he based on Malachi 4:2. “But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.” The tune, “Ratisbon,” is from Johann Werner’s “Gesangbuchern,” (1815). The present harmony is by William Henry Havergal (1793-1870).

THE SEQUENCE HYMN: No. 490 “I Want to Walk As a Child of the Light.” This hymn, based on I Thessalonians 5:4-5, we written by Kathleen Thomerson, currently the Organist and Music Director at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas. She was born in Tennessee and grew up in Mississippi, California, and Texas. Her college music study was at the Universities of Colorado and Texas, the Flemish Royal Conservatory in Antwerp, and privately in Paris. Before retirement in Austin, she lived in Collinsville, Illinois, when her husband was a biology professor at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. This is one of her best-known hymns and she composed its tune and named it “Houston.”

PRESENTATION HYMN: No. 93 in Voices Found. “God Creator, Source of Healing.” This hymn was written by Brigid Pailthorp and each verse has an attribute of the three persons of the Holy Trinity: God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit ending with a fourth verse that begins “Trinity of awe and wonder yours the glory yours the praise.” The tune “Abbot’s Leigh” was composed by Cyril Vincent Taylor (1907-1991) former Warden of the Royal School of Church Music in England.

COMMUNION HYMN: No. 645. “The King of Love My Shepherd Is.” This hymn was written by Henry Williams Baker (1821-1877) and is a paraphrase of Psalm 23. Baker was the son of Vice Ad¬mir¬al Hen¬ry Lo¬raine Bak¬er. He at¬tend¬ed Trin¬i¬ty Coll¬ege at Cam¬bridge, was or¬dained an Anglican priest in 1844. In 1851, he be¬came Vic¬ar of Monk-land Pri¬ory Church in Here¬ford¬shire, Eng¬land, where he served most of his life. Baker was ed¬it¬or-in-chief of the An¬gl¬ican Hymns An¬cient and Mo-dern, to which he con¬tri¬but¬ed hymns, tunes, and trans¬la¬tions. This his¬tor¬ic hym¬nal sold 60 mil¬lion co¬pies. The tune, “St. Columba,” is an folk melody of Ireland adapted by the Irish organist Robert Prescott Stewart (1825-1894).

RECESSIONAL HYMN: No. 690. “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah.” This hymn was written by William Williams (1717-1791) who was the chief hymn writer of Wales and one of her greatest poets. Though ordained an Anglican priest, he later withdrew from the Established Church and joined the Calvinist Methodist Connection. He composed over 800 hymns in Welsh and 100 in English. This hymn was later re-written and translated into English by another Welshman, Peter Williams, (1722-1796) a biblical scholar. The tune, “Cum Rhondda,” was composed by John Hughes (1873-1932). The hymn reflects the biblical image of God’s people on a pilgrimage, “For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water.” (Revelation 7:17a)