872

Have We Any Gift Worth Giving

Full Text

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Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

This song is about the church, the church that worships and serves with all her heart. The second stanza bases this calling in the person and work of Christ, whose “costly incarnation” revealed God’s redeeming love and grace. The final stanza is a prayerful challenge that the church, with wisdom, follow the path ahead.

 

Sing! A New Creation

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

When we sing about the offering of our gifts, we quickly find several thoughts interwoven with each other. The first is the foundational thought that God’s generosity in Christ has brought us salvation and all good things in life. God has “created heaven and earth and all other creatures from nothing” (Belgic Confession, Article 12) and he continues to “provide whatever I need in body and soul” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26). But God’s greatest act of generosity is shown in the gift of his Son “by a most perfect love” (Belgic Confession, Article 20) through whom we find the forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. This generosity of God is always in the background of each song in this section.

 

God’s children are called to respond thankfully to God’s generosity. Our gifts, therefore, take on the nature of a testimony of thankfulness to our generous God. We aim that “with our whole lives we may show that we are thankful to God for his benefits, so that he may be praised through us” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32, Question and Answer 86). Indeed, all our living, including our gifts, are intended to show “how I am to thank God for such deliverance” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2). It is natural, therefore, that our giving of offerings is accompanied with songs that express this gratitude.

872

Have We Any Gift Worth Giving

Additional Prayers

A Prayer of Dedication
 
Great God, overflowing with goods and services, what could we offer you? You are the sovereign one. You possess everything. You are radiant in splendor. All we can hope to offer you is our song, our prayer, our obedient hearts through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
872

Have We Any Gift Worth Giving

Tune Information

Name
COSTLY GIFTS
Key
E♭ Major
Meter
8.7.8.7.7.7.8.8
872

Have We Any Gift Worth Giving

Hymn Story/Background

Carl P. Daw , Jr. was commissioned to write a text on Romans 12:1-2 for the 189th General Synod of the Reformed Church in America, meeting in June, 1995. He chose the meter of GENEVAN 42 (also known as FREU DICH SEHR), a beloved tune in the Reformed tradition. Alfred Fedak similarly was asked to compose a tune for this text. His tune, which he named COSTLY GIFTS, began with the same three opening notes as GENEVAN 42, followed the same lilting rhythm throughout, and shaped in the same AABC form. The result is something that is fresh and yet familiar and accessible. The hymn was first published in Daw’s collection of New Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1996).
— Emily Brink

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

Alfred Fedak (b. 1953), is a well-known organist, composer, and Minister of Music at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Capitol Hill in Albany, New York. He graduated from Hope College in 1975 with degrees in organ performance and music history. He obtained a Master’s degree in organ performance from Montclair State University, and has also studied at Westminster Choir College, Eastman School of Music, the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, and at the first Cambridge Choral Studies Seminar at Clare College, Cambridge.
 
As a composer, he has over 200 choral and organ works in print, and has three published anthologies of his work (Selah Publishing). In 1995, he was named a Visiting Fellow in Church Music at Episcopal Seminary of the Soutwest in Austin, Texas. He is also a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, and was awarded the AGO’s prestigious S. Lewis Elmer Award. Fedak is a Life Member of the Hymn Society, and writes for The American Organist, The Hymn, Reformed Worship, and Music and Worship. He was a member of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song that prepared Glory to God, the 2013 hymnal of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
— Selah Publishing Co. (http://www.selahpub.com/)
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