252

Church of God, Elect and Glorious

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Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Written by James E. Seddon (PHH 15), this text is based on the well-known passage in 1 Peter 2:9-12 where Peter calls the church "a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God" (v. 9). Each stanza of the text begins with one or more of these memorable phrases and then, following Peter's pattern, explains why the church should be such a holy people. Because it is the recipient of God's mercy, the church must be consecrated to holy living as a testimony of praise to God and as a convincing witness to the unsaved.

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

This song speaks of the Church of God as “elect.” The Canons of Dort I, 7 verifies both of these by teaching that “election is God’s unchangeable purpose by which he…chose in Christ to salvation a definite number of particular people out of the entire human race.”

 

Stanza 1 calls God’s children to “know the purpose of your calling” and in stanza 4 to “fulfill your calling,” phrases that have far greater content than at first glance. Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 41 powerfully explains the mission of the church and helps us realize how far-reaching this calling of the church is: “…the Spirit calls all members to embrace God’s mission in their neighborhoods and in the world: to feed the hungry, bring water to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and free the prisoner. We repent of leaving this work to a few, for this mission is central to our being.”

252

Church of God, Elect and Glorious

Introductory/Framing Text

All saints—who are united to Jesus Christ their head
by his Spirit and by faith—have fellowship with him in his graces, sufferings, death,
resurrection, and glory.
And, being united to one another in love,
they participate in each other’s gifts and graces
and are obligated to perform those public and private duties
that lead to their mutual good, both inwardly and outwardly.
It is the duty of professing saints to maintain
a holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God
and in performing such other spiritual services
as help them to edify one another.
It is their duty also to come to the aid of one another
in material things according to their various abilities and necessities.
As God affords opportunity, this communion is to be extended
to all those in every place who call on the name of the Lord Jesus.
—from Westminster Confession (MESV), Chap. XXVI, Sec. 1-2
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Assurance

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, God’s own people,
in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him
who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.
—1 Peter 2:9-10, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Do not weep!
See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.
With his blood he has purchased people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
He has made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.
Thanks be to God!
—based on Revelation 5:5, 9-10, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

You are no longer strangers and aliens,
but you are citizens with the saints
and also members of the household of God,
built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.
In him the whole structure is joined together
and grows into a holy temple in the Lord;
in whom you also are built together spiritually
into a dwelling place for God.
—Ephesians 2:19-22, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Blessing/Benediction

Lead a life worthy of the calling
to which you have been called,
with all humility and gentleness,
with patience, bearing with one another in love,
making every effort to maintain
the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body and one Spirit,
just as you were called to the one hope of your calling,
one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all,
who is above all and through all and in all.
—Ephesians 4:1-6, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

May this symbolic act
not only teach us
but also form in us
a deeper desire
to follow Jesus,
to embody his love,
to practice his humility.
Lord Jesus, teach us what it means
to live as members of your body. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

God of all ages:
we thank you for the faithful witness
of your apostles, prophets, and martyrs
throughout the history of your church
and throughout the world even today.
Through their witness we see and hear your truth.
We bless you for all who bless your name
through their writing, speaking, art, and music.
Through their work we glimpse your beauty.
We praise you for all who serve you without recognition or honor,
offering encouragement to the lonely, the sick, and the fearful.
Through their lives we see your faithfulness and sense your comfort.
Now we pray that you will use even us
to reflect the glory we see in Christ.
May the voices of all your saints, made holy in Christ,
swell in joyous praise to you, the giver of all good gifts,
through Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Almighty God,
you have knit together your elect
in one communion and fellowship
in the body of your Son, Christ, our Lord:
Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints
in all virtuous and godly living
that we may come to those ineffable joys
that you have prepared for those who truly love you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two
252

Church of God, Elect and Glorious

Hymn Story/Background

Written by James E. Seddon, this text is based on the well-known passage in 1 Peter 2:9-12 where Peter calls the church "a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God" (v. 9). Each stanza of the text begins with one or more of these memorable phrases and then, following Peter's pattern, explains why the church should be such a holy people. Because it is the recipient of God's mercy, the church must be consecrated to holy living as a testimony of praise to God and as a convincing witness to the unsaved. The text was first published in Hymns for Today's Church (1982).
 
Cyril V. Taylor composed ABBOT'S LEIGH in May of 1941 when he was working for the Religious Broadcasting Department of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The BBC had received complaints about the use of AUSTRIA (tune for the Austrian national hymn) during this time of war, a tune then set to "Glorious Things of You Are Spoken." Thus Taylor originally composed his tune for that text. First printed in a leaflet, ABBOT'S LEIGH was published in Hymns Ancient and Modern Revised (1950), Congregational Praise (1951), and the BBC Hymn Book (1951), of which Taylor was editor. ABBOT'S LEIGH is named for a village near Bristol, England, where Taylor composed the tune (Bristol was wartime headquarters for the BBC).
 
This dramatic tune with bold melodic gestures and a bar form shape (AAB) is suitable for unison or harmony singing. Use strong accompaniment with a stately tempo.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

James E. Seddon (b. Ormskirk, Lancashire, England, 1915; d. London, England, 1983) received his musical training at the London College of Music and Trinity College in London and his theological training at the Bible Churchmen's Theological College (now Trinity College) in Bristol. He served various Anglican parishes in England from 1939 to 1945 as well as from 1967 to 1980. Seddon was a missionary in Morocco from 1945 to 1955 and the home secretary for the Bible Churchmen's Missionary Society from 1955 to 1967. Many of his thirty hymns are based on mission­ary themes; he wrote some in Arabic while he lived in Morocco. Seddon joined other Jubilate Group participants to produce Psalm Praise (1973) and Hymns for Today's Church (1982).
 
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Cyril V. Taylor (b. Wigan, Lancashire, England, 1907; d. Petersfield, England, 1992)was a chorister at Magdalen College School, Oxford, and studied at Christ Church, Oxford, and Westcott House, Cambridge. Ordained a priest in the Church of England in 1932, he served the church as both pastor and musician. His positions included being a producer in the religious broadcasting department of the BBC (1939­-1953), chaplain of the Royal School of Church Music (1953-1958), vicar of Cerne Abbas in Dorsetshire (1958-1969), and precentor of Salisbury Cathedral (1969-1975). He contributed twenty hymn tunes to the BBC Hymn Book (1951), which he edited, and other tunes to the Methodist Hymns and Psalms (1983). He also edited 100 Hymns for Today (1969) and More Hymns for Today (1980). Writer of the booklet Hymns for Today Discussed (1984), Taylor was chairman of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland from 1975 to 1980.
 
— Bert Polman
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