Lenten Devotional 2018 - Methodist throughout this Lenten season. This is a compilation of some of our

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  • Lenten Devotional 2018 Our Favorite Hymns

    John Wesley United Methodist Church Tallahassee, Florida

  • Introduction

    It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O most High, to proclaim your love in the morning

    and your faithfulness at night… -- Psalm 92: 1-2

    Whether your devotional time is in the morning, at noon, or at night, we hope this booklet will serve you well throughout this Lenten season. This is a compilation of some of our church family’s favorite songs of faith. The collection is diverse in genre, familiarity, and age. You will find well-known and lesser- known hymns—some centuries old—choral anthems, spirituals, and gospel songs, along with praise and worship songs more recently written. The contributor for each entry has written a personal reflection related to the song’s meaning, and some writers have included a bit of information about the song’s history, which you may find interesting. Since February is designated as Black History Month, and March as Women’s History Month, we hope you will take special note of African-American and women songwriters.

    A couple of songs were popular enough to be submitted by more than one person. In that case, we combined the reflections into a single entry. Each entry contains the song’s lyrics, a scripture reference, and a prayer focus. On many pages, you will also see a web address to an online video/audio performance of the song. Singing along or listening may be a wonderful way to top off your daily devotional experience. From inception to completion, this book was more of a sprint than a marathon. It was completed in less than two weeks, so we hope you will forgive our errors when you find them, and express thanks to the contributors when you next see them. If you had wanted to contribute, but the time frame was too short, do not be dismayed—we’ll catch you next time!


    Olivia Ahyoung Debi Brigman

    Martha Capelouto Cindy Cosper

    Jim Cosper Pat Davis

    Barbara George Tony Ichite

    Kathy Fearon

    Carolyn Glynn Angelyn Hirai Chip Jordan

    Eric Egwu Kalu Gene Kelley

    Leslie Kitterman Pat Lanfear

    Debbie Rivenburg

    Ann Todd Angie Williams

    Barbara Williams

    Cover photo: Anton Zotov

  • Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days Ash Wednesday, February 14


    Author: Claudia F. Hernaman, 1873

    Scripture: Luke 4: 1-14

    You may have been expecting this hymn, and it is pretty wonderful. Who could write lyrics like this today? They clearly, concisely, and eloquently describe what Lent is all about—the forty days Jesus spent fasting and praying in the desert before beginning his ministry. Are you fasting in some way? If so, remember to take a break on Sunday. Sundays are considered “mini Easters” when we anticipate the resurrection. Welcome to the season!

    About the songwriter: “Claudia Hernaman (1838-1898) was born in Surrey, England, and died in Brussels, Belgium. She was the daughter of an Anglican minister, and she married a minister who also served as a school inspector. Like so many other women hymn writers of the nineteenth century, she was devoted to the religious education of children. Toward this end, she wrote 150 hymns in several collections, some original and some translated from Latin.”

    Hawn, Michael C., “History of Hymns: Lord, Who Throughout these Forty Days” Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church. https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-lord-who-throughout-these- forty-days

    Angie Williams

    Lord, who throughout these forty days for us did fast and pray, teach us with you to mourn our sins and close by you to stay.

    As you with Satan did contend, and did the victory win, O give us strength in you to fight, in you to conquer sin.

    As you did hunger and did thirst, so teach us, gracious Lord,

    to die to self, and so to live by your most holy Word.

    And through these days of penitence, and through your Passiontide, forevermore, in life and death, O Lord, with us a bide.

    Abide with us, that through this life of doubts and hope and pain, an Easter of unending joy we may at last attain!

    Prayer Focus: For the self-discipline needed to follow through with the fasting or change of habits we resolved to enact during this season of Lent. Pray that these measures draw us into a closer relationship with Jesus.

    https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-lord-who-throughout-these-forty-days https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-lord-who-throughout-these-forty-days

  • Beautiful Things Thursday, February 15

    Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJ4yNYY1hHM

    Author: Michael Gungor, 2010

    Scripture: Isaiah:61:3

    This hauntingly beautiful, contemporary Christian song was nominated for a 2011 Grammy Award in the Best Gospel Song category. It struck a chord with many people for many reasons, but especially those struggling with addiction. As someone whose family has been touched by addiction, I know firsthand the myriad of painful emotions one experiences when a loved one is lost:


    Without faith, these can become near constant companions testing the bounds of love. But, there is hope in Jesus. Praise God, there is Jesus! With His help, I have also experienced the joy of the loved one’s deliverance! This song, with its promise of restoration, is an anthem of that hope.

    Angie Williams

    All this pain I wonder if I'll ever find my way I wonder if my life could really change, at all All this earth Could all that is lost ever be found? Could a garden come out from this ground, at all?

    You make beautiful things You make beautiful things out of the dust You make beautiful things You make beautiful things out of us

    All around, Hope is springing up from this old ground Out of chaos life is being found, in you

    You make beautiful things You make beautiful things out of the dust You make beautiful things You make beautiful things out of us Oh, you make beautiful things You make beautiful things out of the dust You make beautiful things You make beautiful things out of us

    You make me new, You are making me new You make me new, You are making me new

    Prayer Focus: Those coping with addiction, and the family and friends who love them.

  • Lift Every Voice and Sing Friday, February 16

    Authors: J. Rosamond Johnson and James Johnson, 1921 Scripture: Psalm 100: 1-5

    Back in 1976, when I was in high school in Jacksonville, I was invited to participate in a new event–Black History Month. The event was held at a junior high school where I had never been before– James Weldon Johnson–so I had to get out maps to find my way there. Being white, I had had very little education about Black History. After the history presentations (I’m still a history buff), they sang a song written by the man this school was named after, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The words were projected on the screen, so I could recognize the meaning of the words and the plight of black people in America. But when we all sang the song (it took me a verse to get a hang of the notes), it uplifted all of us! I was happy to hear in later years that the United Methodist Church included this song in the hymnal. All of us can hear in the song the times we have struggled, both personally and as a church–I hope we can also hear the hope!

    Chip Jordan

    Lift every voice and sing, till earth and Heaven ring, Ring with the harmonies of liberty; Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies, Let it resound loud as the rolling sea. Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us, Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us; Facing the rising sun of our new day begun, Let us march on till victory is won.

    Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod, Felt in the days when hope unborn had died; Yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet, Come to the place for which our fathers sighed? We have come over a way that with tears has been watered, We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered; Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

    God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou Who hast brought us thus far on the way; Thou Who hast by Thy might, led us into the light, Keep us forever in the path, we pray. Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee. Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee. Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand, True to our God, true to our native land.

    Prayer Focus: Dear Lord, help us to continually praise you for all the gifts you have bestowed on us. Help us to look to you when times are rough and we need Your help. Amen.

  • Let Us Break Bread Together Saturday, February 17

    Author: African American Spiritual

    Scripture: Luke 22:19

    I like the practice Pastor Sanders has introduced of taking Holy Communion every Sunday during Lent. I’ve heard that John Wesley preached that we should take communion as often as possible, considering it is as important a part of discipleship as daily prayer. (By the way, his sermon on the subject, “Sermon 101: The Duty of Constant Communion,” is available on the UMC Global Missions website.)

    So, soon we