Calvary United Methodist Church | 131 West Second Street | Frederick, MD 21701 Church 301-662-1464 School 301-622-6783 office@calvaryumc.org

INVOCATION and READING

God of the ages whose almighty hand

Leads forth in beauty all the starry band

Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies,

Our grateful songs before thy throne arise. (UMH #698, st.1)

 

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength,

an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way

and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam

and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy place where the Most High dwells.

5 God is within her, she will not fall;

God will help her at break of day.

6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;

he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The Lord Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the Lord has done,

the desolations he has brought on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease

to the ends of the earth.

He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;

he burns the shields with fire.

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 

Glory to God, our refuge and strength!

 

HYMN REFLECTION

The hymn text “God of the Ages, Whose Almighty Hand” (UMH #698) was written by New England native Daniel Crane Roberts (1841-1907). Originally “God of Our Fathers”, the first line has been changed to be more inclusive, but otherwise remains unaltered. Roberts was ordained in the Protestant Episcopal Church, and served parishes in Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. It was for his small parish in Brandon, Vermont that he wrote these words in 1876 to celebrate the nation’s centennial Fourth of July celebration. This hymn pays sole tribute to God, whose “strong arm” and “almighty hand” led our nation’s struggle for independence and freedom, and continues to protect and bless us.

Originally sung to the tune RUSSIAN HYMN, George Warren (1828-1902), organist of the St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York City, composed a new tune, NATIONAL HYMN, which became forever paired with this text. He wrote it in 1894 for use in the Episcopal Church. This pairing was included in American Methodist hymnals beginning in 1905.

 

Thy love divine hath led us in the past,

In this free land by Thee our lot is cast;

Be Thou our ruler, guardian, guide, and stay,

Thy word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,

Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;

Thy true religion in our hearts increase.

Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

(UMH #698, st.2&3)

 

In giving thanks to God, Roberts hymn (prayer) also asks that our hearts be continually and increasingly filled with God’s word – the ultimate law by which we live. And it is in following God’s path of “love and grace divine” that we continue to work for true freedom for all of our brothers and sisters. For it is in the lifting up of all people that freedom is most evident, and most ardently reflective of God’s Kingdom on earth.

 

https://youtu.be/ucTAAUyyi4c

 

PRAYER

Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,

Lead us from night to never ending day;

Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,

And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine. (UMH #698, st.4)

Amen!

 

Offered by Joche Wilmot, Director of Music Ministries