What Would You Choose?

This coming Sunday is my last as a parish minister with my own congregation to lead in worship. My text is going to be a favourite passage from my favourite book I Peter 1:17-21. I want my last sermon before retirement to be one which affirms my congregation in their faith and points them to the salvation which is in Christ alone.

The hymns are more problematical. After leading more than 3,000 services of worship I am going to be selfish. I have always taken great care to choose the most suitable hymn for any particular part of the service, the right words married to the right tune for that point and all controlled by the theme of the text. For once I am just going to chose some of my favourite hymns.

Psalm 100 All people that on earth do dwell. The neglect of psalms in the CofS
diminishes our worship and this psalm married to the stately Old Hundredth is a magnificent affirmation of God’s majesty and character and our pleasure in
worship.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God The only real problem. Following the children’s address I want one they will be able to sing. Seek ye first seems the least objectionable of suitable hymns, at least it uses the words of Scripture. If you have any better ideas let me know.

And can it be that I should gain This is the first hymn which had a real impact on me following my conversion. It seemed to express the wonder I felt that God should actually care for me, a sense of wonder I retain and never want to lose. Beside that, my wife used to be a Methodist and it was written by Charles
Wesley.

King of glory, King of peace This is a beautiful hymn of devotion by my favourite hymn writer George Herbert.

Thine be the glory It was difficult to choose a last hymn. It has to be something strong, confident and above all Christ centred. For me it is this Easter hymn sung to Handel’s magnificent Maccabaeus, two birds with one stone.

That’s my choice. What would you choose?

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About Campbell

Now retired but once upon a time a parish minister in Glasgow, before that the South West and initially the Black Isle. Been a prison chaplain and lecturer. Still am constantly bemused by the weird world around me.
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6 Responses to What Would You Choose?

  1. Bob Fyall says:

    Magnificent – Make sure you keep Wesley’s original words with ‘the first born seraph’

    Praying that you will be truly blessed on the Sunday and in the new phase of your life which I hope will continue producing ‘A grain of sand’

  2. Tom Magill says:

    A debtor to mercy alone, Toplady, (Tune Celeste)
    God of the Covenant, Webb, (Tune Russia).
    Great is the Gospel, Higham
    Ye gates lift up your heads, Ps 24, (tune Edinburgh)
    When I survey, Watts. (Rockingham)
    Lightning flash and rumbling thunder, Rowbory – a member of the Tron. (Blaenwern)
    for the children:
    Yield not to temptation, Palmer, (Fortitude). I remember my mother teaching it to me.

  3. sanstorm says:

    I love “And Can It Be”. Great choice.
    My favourite one at the moment is “Before the Throne of God Above” aka The Advocate.
    I hope you have a great last service and that the congregation gie it laldy.

  4. Ewan Wilson says:

    First, let me say I am quite sure you will be hugely missed. Faithful preaching and pastoring according to the doctrines of grace are signal blessings given to few these days! Thank you, brother, for your testimony!
    Anyway, my favourite Text, I think, would be either Paul to the Ephesians Chap. 4 v 32 or Colossians Chap3 v12-13 . Song Praise would have to include Metrical Psalm 100, Long Metre Tune Old Hundredth, I fully agree; also Psalm 133 to conclude, tune Eastgate; Psalm 84, tune either Harington or University; and how about either Psalm 122, tune St Paul or Psalm 118 v 15-26, tune Newington.
    If I HAD to choose hymns ( which I’d rather avoid) the children’s one must be the old Revised No658, Children of Jerusalem, the tune of which I forget the name but it repeats the words ‘Loud Hosannahs’ three times in the refrain. I also confess a fondness for the old pre sermon hymn, Break Thou the Bread of Life, No 202 in the Revised. For sheer stateliness I don’t think there’s anything to beat Immortal, Invisible, God only wise, No 12 Revised. And finally , my favourite calvinist hymn writer, Joseph Hart’s masterpiece, Come ye sinners, poor and wretched, No 393 Revised . All learnt at afternoon Sunday school and loved ever since!!

  5. Ewan Wilson says:

    Oh…and one Psalm I failed to mention as possible rousing and Christ centred piece, the concluding portion to Psalm 72, His Name for ever shall endure, tune the wondrous Effingham.

    Every blessing, brother, in your retirement.

  6. Nicolas says:

    Dear Campbell,

    I had no idea you were retiring age! God bless you.

    Just hearing about your choice of hymns was as good as singing them!

    I wish you every blessing we can receive in this age, as we keep our eyes on the supreme blessing of the age to come.

    Nicolas.

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