One of the many things that I am missing during this time that we are not worshipping in-person is our shared congregational singing.
In order to keep our worship services a manageable length (you can read, ‘manageable length’ as a length that I would be willing to sit through myself in front of a computer, tablet or smart phone screen and therefore one I hope you might be willing to sit through as well) and in preparation for when we might worship again in-person, I have often shortened the hymns we are including in the service or have utilized just the refrain. But, in doing that, we are sometimes missing some really meaningful lyrics.
So, at least occasionally, when I’m significantly shortening a hymn for our online worship, and when I find myself really regretting shortening it because of what we are potentially missing out on, I’m going to invite you in these weekly newsletter articles to ponder the unsung lyrics and to consider how these unsung words might inform your faith this week.
This week in worship, we will be singing/praying/speaking the hymn “Let Us Be Bread” as both an opening and a closing hymn, intended to bookend our worship service – symbolically proclaiming that we both enter worship hearing the assurance and are sent forth making the affirmation that as the Church and as faithful individuals we are called to be bread for the world. The refrain we will sing during worship goes like this:
Let us be bread, blessed by the Lord,
broken and shared, life for the world.
Let us be wine, love freely poured.
Let us be one in the Lord.
The hymn is found in our United Methodist The Faith We Sing hymnal. In the version in that hymnal only the refrain is included. In other hymnals, four short stanzas are also included as a part of this hymn. I invite you to consider how these words might speak to you today. You might read, pray, or sing each stanza and the refrain, and then briefly pause after each stanza/refrain and invite God to speak to you through these words:
I am the bread of life, broken for all.
Eat now and hunger no more. [Refrain]
You are my friends if you keep my commands,
no longer servants but friends. [Refrain]
See how my people have nothing to eat.
Give them the bread that is you. [Refrain]
As God has loved me so I have loved you.
Go and live on in my love. [Refrain]
I hope to see you soon,