529

Gather Us In

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

A prayer for God to gather us into community for worship. The first two stanzas ask God to help us overcome those things that separate us (from God and from each other): our age, our health, our pride or fear or pasts. The third describes the sacramental activity in worship by which God helps us to fashion holy lives and true hearts. In the fourth stanza we plead to be gathered as God’s own – not into a place, but into a people, animated by God’s Spirit. Because God is never explicitly named in the song, speak a fitting prayer before or after singing it, identifying who it is that gathers us in, and who lives as the “fire of love in our flesh and our bone.”
 
Sing! A New Creation

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Our coming together is not first of all an action of our own initiative, but is of God’s initiative. He does the gathering. The Confessions are careful to use terminology that identifies God’s gathering action. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 21, Question and Answer 54 says, “The Son of God through his Spirit and Word…gathers...” Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 30 testifies “The Spirit gathers people…into the unity of the body of Christ.” The Belhar Confession, Section 1 refers to the Trinity. “…The triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit…gathers, protects and cares for the church through Word and Spirit.”
 
God calls his children from many sources, languages, nations, and from a variety of social standings and personal needs. The Confessions are very clear on this. Belgic Confession teaches in Article 27, “This holy church is not confined, bound, or limited to a certain place or certain people.” Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 30 reminds us, “The Spirit gathers people from every tongue, tribe and nation...” and in paragraph 34 teaches that “all are welcome…the homeless…the broken…the sinner…the despised…the least…and the last…”
 
Stanza 3 of “Gather Us In” uses multiple references to the Lord’s Supper, such as “the bread of new birth,” “the wine of compassion,” “the bread that is you,” and the expectation to be nourished well. All of these references clearly reflect the teaching of Belgic Confession, Article 35 as means of sustaining the spiritual and heavenly new life we have within us through our second birth.
529

Gather Us In

Additional Prayers

Optional prayer (based on Eph. 4:12-13)
Triune God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
you have adopted us as your children,
you lavish your grace upon us at Word and table.
May all we do here equip us for ministry,
build us up as the body of Christ,
strengthen our unity in faith,
deepen our knowledge of Jesus, our Lord,
and help us to grow into maturity as your children,
reflecting the full stature of Christ.
Amen.
529

Gather Us In

Tune Information

Name
GATHER US IN
Key
D Major
Meter
10.9.10.10.D

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

"Gather Us In" is a joyful song for the opening of a service that includes the Lord's Supper, but it may be sung on other Sundays as well (using st. 1, 2, and 4). A glance at the accompaniment will reveal that this song is intended not for organ but for piano and/or guitars. To learn this song, introduce it two weeks before you are going to celebrate the Lord's Supper. Have a small group of musicians sing stanzas 1, 2, and 4 as part of the prelude, and provide the text in the bulletin or on an overhead projector for people to follow. Another week, provide the music as well in a bulletin insert and invite the congregation to join on the final stanza. On the Sunday when you are going to celebrate the Lord's Supper, sing it all together as the opening song.
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 48)
— Emily Brink

Intense and focused right away, this urgent prayer is not the sort of song you use to “warm up” a congregation. The melody rises and falls nicely with each line. Take care it does not lose volume or intensity at the end of each cadence. Accompany with guitars and piano, perhaps some woodwind instruments on the melody. Use hand drums playing sixteenth notes, while accenting the first, third, and fourth beats. Keep a very steady tempo; much faster than that and the rich lyrics are lost in a muddle. 
529

Gather Us In

Hymn Story/Background

Wherever God’s people gather, we can pray this prayer for God to gather us into community, into unity together, for worship. The first two stanzas ask God to help us overcome those things that separate us (from God and from each other): our age, our health, our pride or fear or pasts. The third describes the sacramental activity in worship by which God helps us to fashion holy lives and true hearts. In the fourth stanza, we plead to be gathered as God’s own—not into a place, but into a people, animated by God’s Spirit. Because God is never explicitly named in the song, speak a fitting prayer before or after singing it, identifying who it is that gathers us in, and who lives as the “fire of love in our flesh and our bone.” 

Author and Composer Information

Marty Haugen (b. 1950), is a prolific liturgical composer with many songs included in hymnals across the liturgical spectrum of North American hymnals and beyond, with many songs translated into different languages. He was raised in the American Lutheran Church, received a BA in psychology from Luther College, yet found his first position as a church musician in a Roman Catholic parish at a time when the Roman Catholic Church was undergoing profound liturgical and musical changes after Vatican II. Finding a vocation in that parish to provide accessible songs for worship, he continued to compose and to study, receiving an MA in pastoral studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul Minnesota. A number of liturgical settings were prepared for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and more than 400 of his compositions are available from several publishers, especially GIA Publications, who also produced some 30 recordings of his songs. He is composer-in-residence at Mayflower Community Congregational Church in Minneapolis and continues to compose and travel to speak and teach at worship events around the world. 
— Emily Brink
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.



Advertisements