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For Such a Time as This

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

To be sure, baptism provides the assurance “that God, by grace, has forgiven our sins because of Christ’s blood poured out for us in his sacrifice on the cross” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 26, Question and Answer 70). But it also involves the calling that “more and more we become dead to sin and live holy and blameless lives” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 26, 
Question and Answer 70).

 

“Christ places baptism in the world as a seal of God’s covenant people, placing them in ministry” (Our Song of Hope, stanza 18). Consequently, “The Spirit calls all members to embrace God’s mission” (Our World Belong to God, paragraph 41). Our vocation is broad because Christ is Lord over all: “To follow this Lord is to serve him wherever we are without fitting in, light in darkness, salt in a spoiling world” (Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 43). Our identity thus determines our vocation.

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For Such a Time as This

Additional Prayers

A Petitionary Prayer
 
For unpopular and misunderstood ministries,
O God, we pray your grace for such a time as this.
 
For missionaries and evangelists in tough environments,
O God, we pray your grace for such a time as this.
 
For chaplains in the military, on campus, in jails and hospitals,
O God, we pray your grace for such a time as this.
 
For all your servants who soldier on while nobody applauds,
O God, in Jesus’ name we pray your grace for such a time as this. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

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

Loving and faithful God,
we bless you for calling us to be a holy people,
living for you in service to each other for the sake of your world.
We pray that our congregation will experience
a rich and free sharing of the gifts you have generously given us.
Knowing that we are called to be saints,
we humbly ask that you will work powerfully through us
to accomplish your purposes in the world.
We pray for the courage, the patience, and the generosity of spirit
that comes from imitating the love you have shown us in Christ.
We long for your Spirit’s power to make us more Christlike
in our thoughts, words, and deeds.
Help us to think of others and their needs even now as we pray for
creation, in its groaning . . .
the world, in its suffering . . .
our nation and city, in their need of healing . . .
We pray in the name of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two
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For Such a Time as This

Tune Information

Name
ST. ANNE
Key
C Major
Meter
8.6.8.6

Recordings

867

For Such a Time as This

Hymn Story/Background

The hymn text is a meditation on Hebrews 12:1-2 and Esther 4:14 in light of the 20th anniversary of women's ordination to the Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America (RCA). It was first sung at a celebration of women's gifts at the RCA's 1998 General Synod and was published for the first time in Lift Up Your Hearts (2013).
 
Though no firm documentation exists, ST. ANNE was probably composed by William Croft, possibly when he was organist from 1700-1711 at St. Anne's Church in Soho, London, England. (According to tradition, St. Anne was the mother of the Virgin Mary.) The tune was first published in A Supplement to the New Version (6th ed., 1708) as a setting for Psalm 42. ST. ANNE became a setting for "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861).
 
ST. ANNE shares its first melodic motif with a number of other tunes from the early eighteenth century; one example is Bach's great fugue in E-flat, nicknamed "St. Anne," though it uses only the first motif of ST. ANNE. The original "gathering notes" (where the first note of each phrase is doubled in length) have been changed to equal the tune's prevailing quarter-note rhythms. ST. ANNE is a strong tune that must not be sung too rapidly. On the final stanza, sing in a stately manner and try unison singing on the alternative accompaniment by David Johnson, which was first published in Free Organ Accompaniments to Festival Hymns, Vol. 1 (1963).
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Carol Bechtel has served as professor of Old Testament at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, since 1994. She is a graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, and she received her Ph.D. in Old Testament from Yale University. Bechtel preaches and teaches widely and is the author of several books, including Esther: A Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Interpretation, WJK, 2002). She is a General Synod Professor of Theology in the Reformed Church in America and has served as president of the RCA’s General Synod (1998/1999) and as moderator of its General Synod Council (1999/2000). She lives in Holland, Michigan, with her husband, Tom Mullens, where they enjoy a growing group of children and grandchildren. Her interests include singing, cooking, gardening, and the Celtic harp. She served on the editorial committee for Psalms for All Seasons (2012) and for Lift Up Your Hearts (2013).
— Carol Bechtel

Composer Information

William Croft (b. Nether Ettington, Warwickshire, England, 1678; d. Bath, Somerset, England, 1727) was a boy chorister in the Chapel Royal in London and then an organist at St. Anne's, Soho. Later he became organist, composer, and master of the children of the Chapel Royal, and eventually organist at Westminster Abbey. His duties at the Chapel Royal were expanded in 1715 to include teaching boys reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as composition and organ playing. Croft published a two-volume collection of his church music, Musica sacra (1724), in one score rather than in separate part books, and in his preface encouraged others to do likewise. He contributed psalm tunes to The Divine Companion (1707) and to the Supplement to the New Version of Psalms by Dr. Brady and Mr. Tate (1708), which included HANOVER. These tunes mark a new development in English psalm tunes. HANOVER was printed anonymously, but William Croft is generally credited with its composition. The name derives from the House of Hanover, the family of King George III.
— Bert Polman
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