Faith Begins by Letting Go

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Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

God’s grace grants our baptism, and gives us our identity and our calling; however, it is up to us, with a renewed spirit, to respond to his call. We understand that just as “God reminds and assures us of our union with Christ in covenant love,” he also is “expecting our love and trust in return” (Our World Belong to God, paragraph 37). 


“We hear the Spirit’s call to love one another…to accept one another and to share at every level…and so fulfill the love of Christ” (Song of Hope, stanza 12). As washed and sanctified people, God’s children are called to “more and more [we] become dead to sin and live holy and blameless lives,” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 26, Question and Answer 70) and this means “the dying away of the old-self, and the rising-to-life of the new” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 33, Question and Answer 88). And so, as part of our baptism, God’s children are called to offer their lives to Christ. 


Faith Begins by Letting Go

Introductory/Framing Text

This song is a rare text that does not pray for more faith, but reflects on the nature of faith itself. The gift of God’s faithfulness, faith begins by letting go, it endures by holding on, it matures by reaching out, finding grace in the commonplace.

Additional Prayers

God of grace and glory,
we pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit—
for us, for those whom we love…
for those unknown to us but known and loved by you…
By your Spirit, reveal to our minds and seal upon our hearts
a firm and certain knowledge of your lavish generosity toward us,
founded on the truth of all your promises
given and confirmed in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Truly, you are the fountain of all goodness,
the giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.
Text: based on John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, III.2.7, and James 1:17
— Lift Up Your Hearts (http://www.liftupyourheartshymnal.org)

A Prayer of Petition and Acclamation
Great God, loosen us from easy answers and false securities.
Faith begins by letting go.
Remind us that you have saved us and always have your arm stretched out to us.
Faith endures by holding on.
Inspire us to encourage the listless and to bind up the brokenhearted.
Faith matures by reaching out.
Faithful God, maker and keeper of promises,
we trust you with our very lives in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Faith Begins by Letting Go

Tune Information

F Major



Faith Begins by Letting Go

Hymn Story/Background

French romanticist composer Charles F. Gounod wrote LUX PRIMA, which means "first light" in Latin. When the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870, Gounod left his native Paris and settled in England for five years. This sturdy tune was published in the Scottish Hymnary in 1872.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Carl P. Daw, Jr. (b. Louisville, KY, 1944) is the son of a Baptist minister. He holds a PhD degree in English (University of Virginia) and taught English from 1970-1979 at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia. As an Episcopal priest (MDiv, 1981, University of the South, Sewanee, Tennesee) he served several congregations in Virginia, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. From 1996-2009 he served as the Executive Director of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. Carl Daw began to write hymns as a consultant member of the Text committee for The Hymnal 1982, and his many texts often appeared first in several small collections, including A Year of Grace: Hymns for the Church Year (1990); To Sing God’s Praise (1992), New Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1996), Gathered for Worship (2006). Other publications include A Hymntune Psalter (2 volumes, 1988-1989) and Breaking the Word: Essays on the Liturgical Dimensions of Preaching (1994, for which he served as editor and contributed two essays. In 2002 a collection of 25 of his hymns in Japanese was published by the United Church of Christ in Japan. His current project is preparing a companion volume to Glory to God, the 2013 hymnal of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  
— Emily Brink

Composer Information

Charles François Gounod (1818-1893) is best known for his many operas, especially Faust (1859). A gifted composer trained at the Paris Conservatory, he won the Grand Pris de Rome in 1839, and throughout his life also wrote several masses, cantatas, and other works. 
— Emily Brink
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