Saturday, September 19, 2020

September 19, 2020 – Saturday prior to Proper 20

1 John 3:17 - Our reading is the inspiration for the hymn, “We Give Thee But Thine Own.” How does this hymn harmonize with our theme for today? It emphasizes our stewardship of life and harmonizes with the Gospel with its emphasis on working in the Lord’s Kingdom. How has the Lord blessed your life? How will you return a portion to Him this coming week?

The many ways that God has provided for our needs are apparent to anyone with eyes to see.  God created the sun to give light by day and the moon and stars to give light by night.  The sun warms the earth, making it habitable.  Its warmth causes seeds to sprout in abundance, and plants respond to its light with a process called photosynthesis, which is essential to our food supply.  God gives us air to breathe and water to drink.

The author of “We give Thee but Thine Own” was William Walsham How (1823-1897), an Anglican bishop.  He was known as “the poor man’s bishop” because of his concern for the poor—and “the omnibus bishop” because he used public transportation rather than a private carriage for travels around town.

Bishop How wrote a number of hymns that reflect his concern for expressing the Gospel in terms that the average person could understand.  This hymn is a good example.  It speak of stewardship, not as a church budget concern, but as acknowledgement of the blessings that we have received from God.[1]

We give Thee but Thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be;
All that we have is Thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from Thee.

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