What Do You Have? Thanksgiving Worship - 1 Corinthians 4

A service of Thanksgiving based on 1 Corinthians 4:7.

Worship Service

Theme of the Service

This service is designed for a congregation's observance of a national day of Thanksgiving. It follows a somewhat different format since we assume this will likely be a non-typical worship service or perhaps a mid-week service. For Canada, the national Thanksgiving observance is Monday, October 10. For the United States, the national Thanksgiving observance is Thursday, November 24. This service is designed to be helpful in either setting.

The theme, of course, is gratitude and the expression of thanks. We take our cue from Paul's rhetorical statement in 1 Corinthians 4:7. This statement, while in the middle of reflection about himself and the Corinthians, is transferable to many other settings.

 

WE GATHER IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD

Prelude: "Come, You Thankful People, Come" [see music notes]
"Let All Things Now Living"

*A Responsive Call to Worship:

Child: Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Choir: Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before him with joyful songs.
Congregation: Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Child: Enter his gates with thanksgiving
And his courts with praise;
Choir: give thanks to him and praise his name.
Congregation: For the Lord is good
and his love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
(Psalm 100)

Opening Song of Thanks: "Sing to the Glory of God," O'Brien [see music notes]
or "Sing to the Lord with Joy!" Carter

*God's Greeting and Congregational "Amen!"

*We Greet One Another

*Song: "Let All Things Now Living" PH 554, PsH 453, RN 48, TH 125, TWC 53 [see music notes]

GOD SPEAKS THROUGH HIS WORD

The Old Testament Reading: Deuteronomy 8:10-19
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The Gospel Reading: Luke 18:35-43
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The Epistle Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:1-7
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

*Song: "Give Thanks" RN 266, SNC 216, TWC 496


WE GIVE THANKS FOR WHERE WE LIVE

Meditation

Song: "For the Beauty of the Earth" PH 473, PsH 432, RL5, SFL 90, TH 116, TWC 353, UMH 92 [seemusic notes]

A Prayer of Thanks for God's Gifts around Us.

Anthem: "All Things Bright and Beautiful," Ferguson [see music notesalso for additional suggestions]

WE GIVE THANKS FOR CHRIST'S CHURCH

Meditation

*Song: "Built on the Rock" PsH 503, TH 351, TWC 705 [seemusic notes]

A Prayer of Thanks for the Church and its Ministry

Anthem: "What Gift Can We Bring," Marshall [see music notes]

WE GIVE THANKS FOR GOD'S GRACE

Meditation

Song: "Cantad al Señor /O Sing to the Lord" PH 472, RN 74, SNC 224, WOV 795 [seemusic notes]

A Prayer of Thanks for God's Grace in our Lives

Anthem: "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," Courtney [see music notes]

WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO LIVE THANKFULLY

Meditation

Song: "Now Thank We All Our God" PH 555, PsH 454, RL 61, SFL 33, SNC 228, TH 98, TWC 374, UMH 102 [seemusic notes]

We Bring Our Thank Offerings:
The Offering of Music: "Now Thank We All Our God" [see music notes]
We Bring Our Gifts [the worshipers bring their offerings forward]

*The Benediction and Congregational Amen!

*Song: "Praise and Thanksgiving" PsH 631, SFL 83
vs.1 - All
vs.2 - Three part canon
vs.3 - All

Postlude: "Now Thank We All Our God" [seemusic notes]

*You are invited to stand

Sermon Notes

The plan for this service is for the second question from 1 Corinthians 4:7 to become the center of thought and reflection. "What do you have that you did not receive?" is a rhetorical question which both makes a statement (all things are gifts!) and aims to prod us into grateful reflection. This sentence is found in the context of a section in which Paul is reflecting on himself, his associates, and the Corinthians and aiming to teach them that none should boast, take pride in himself or herself, or judge each other. Yet, it is one of those universal statements in Scripture that can be lifted out and transferred to all situations. It, therefore, becomes a healthy prod for God-centered reflection on Thanksgiving Day.

You will notice that we have noted four occasions for meditations in this service. We suggest that each of these take the rhetorical question of 1 Corinthians 4:7 and apply it to the particular subject of that section of worship. In this way our reflective thoughts are directed to the world and community (creation and relationships), the church and its ministry (worship and service), and God's grace in Christ (redemption and hope). Then as worship nears its end, we are led in making commitments that our thanks will be not only spoken and sung but also lived out.

You are encouraged to use your creativity in crafting these four sermonic meditations. They could be a standard meditation from a preacher to the congregation. They could also be cast in the form of thoughtful first-person musings by a reflective person. They could be in the form of a letter written home by someone who is thinking deeply about life and its gifts. Or, they could be the journal entry of a grandparent who is speaking to his family. Use your creativity to stir freshness into a Thanksgiving Service.

Liturgy Notes

1. Our assumption is that this is a special-event worship service. Therefore, we have not included a Service of Renewal in Grace as we would normally include for Sunday morning. If you desire additional resources, you will find them in The Worship Sourcebook, pages 399-420.

2. Notice that we have included a child in the opening call to worship. Psalm 100 is a very familiar passage for most children, and the inclusion of a child makes the call to worship family-oriented and intergenerational in spirit. Further, we encourage the inclusion of children in many other locations in this service for readings, prayers, and music.

3. Multiple focused prayers are included in this service. Consider including lay members of the congregation to lead in these prayers. Include a variety of participants in terms of their age and circumstances of life. When multiple persons lead in a prayer, it is wise and helpful to consult together so that boundaries of what to include are agreed upon and prayers do not become repetitious.

4. Three Scripture readings are included near the beginning of the service. This is a deliberate effort to let the voice of God speak to us about the need to be thankful. These three are from widely different settings, and perhaps a sentence of introduction about each will aid the understanding of what is read. We suggest the involvement of three different readers.

Music Notes

Glossary of Hymnal Abbreviations:

  • PH The Presbyterian Hymnal (Presbyterian Church USA; Westminster/John Knox Press)
  • PsH The Psalter Hymnal (Christian Reformed Church; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • RL Rejoice in the Lord (Reformed Church in America; W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
  • RN Renew! (Hope Publishing Company)
  • SFL Songs for LiFE (children's songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • SNC Sing! A New Creation (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship,Christian Reformed Church,
  • Reformed Church in America; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
  • TH Trinity Hymnal (Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America;
  • Great Commission Publications)
  • TWC The Worshiping Church (Hope Publishing Company)
  • UMH The United Methodist Hymnal (United Methodist Publishing House)
  • WOV With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress)

Many of the anthems incorporated in this service are based on traditional or familiar Thanksgiving hymns. If your choir or ensemble is not participating in this service, your congregation could sing the hymns on which the anthems are based.

1. The prelude suggestions, based on ST GEORGE'S WINDSOR and ASH GROVE can be found in the following resources:

ST. GEORGE'S WINDSOR ["Come, You Thankful People, Come"]

  • Organ:
    • Callahan, Charles. Thanksgiving Suite. Morningstar MSM-10-600 [1988] (E-M)
  • Piano:
    • Boertje, Barbara. Piano Improvisations for the Church Year. Unity 70/1194U [1998] (M)
  • Handbells:
    • Waugh, Tim. Come Thankful People. Jeffers JH S9174 [1997] (3-5 octaves, level 3)

ASH GROVE/THE ASH GROVE ["Let All Things Now Living"]

  • Organ:
    • Carlson, J. Bert. A New Look at the Old. Augsburg11-11009 [1999] (E-M)
    • Cherwien, David. Interpretations, bk. 2. AMSI OR-3 [1981] (E-M)
    • Cherwien, David. Triptych on The Ash Grove. Augsburg 11-10971 [1999] (M-D)
    • Held, Wilbur. Those Wonderful Welsh, set 2. Morningstar MSM-10-842 [1992] (adaptable for piano, E )
    • Schulz, Christine. Variations on The Ash Grove. Morningstar MSM-10-708 [1995] (M)
    • Sedio, Mark. Recessional on Sent Forth by God's Blessing. Concordia 97 6864 [2000] (E-M)
    • Stoldt, Frank. Five Hymn Settings. Morningstar MSM-10-931 [1988] (E-M)
    • Wood, Dale. Preludes and Postludes, vol. 3. Augsburg 11-9320 [1974] (E-M)
  • Piano:
    • Leavitt, John. How Sweet the Sound. CPH 97-6891 [2000] (M)
  • Handbells:
    • Moklebust, Cathy. Let All Things Now Living. Choristers Guild CGB-170 [1995] (3-5 octaves, D )

2. The Opening Song of Thanks "Sing to the Glory of God" by Francis Patrick O'Brien is written for SATB voices, congregation, guitar, keyboard and optional two C instruments. A children's choir could easily participate in this song. It is published by GIA G-3773 [1992] (E-M). The alternate suggestion "Sing to the Lord with Joy!" by John Carter is an anthem for two parts and keyboard published by Hope JC286 [1984] (E). This anthem could be shared between an adult choir and children's choir.

3. Alternative harmonizations for "Let All Things Now Living" can be found in:
ASH GROVE/THE ASH GROVE ["Let All Things Now Living"]

  • Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
    • Burkhardt, Michael. As Though the Whole Creation Cried. Morningstar MSM-10-555 [2001]
    • Eggert, John. Creative Hymn Accompaniments for Organ, vol. 2. CPH 97-6851 [2000]
    • Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ, bk. 3. Ludwig O-10 [1986]
  • Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
    • Organ, Anne Krentz. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]

4. Alternative Harmonizations for "For the Beauty of the Earth can be found in the following:
DIX ["For the Beauty of the Earth"]

  • Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
    • Burkhardt, Michael. As Though the Whole Creation Cried. Morningstar MSM-10-555 [2001]
    • Busarow, Donald. All Praise to You, Eternal God. Augsburg 11-9076 [1980]
    • Thiman, Eric. Varied Accompaniments to Thirty-Four Well-Known Hymn Tunes. Oxford ISBN 0 19 323210 3 [1937]
  • Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
    • Organ, Anne Krentz. Let It Rip! At the Piano, vol. 2. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7580-0 [2003]

5. "All Things Bright & Beautiful," arranged by John Ferguson is scored for SATB or two part voices, alto and bass xylophones and flute or piccolo. It is published by GIA G-3104 [1987] (E-M). Alternate suggestions include:

  • Farrar, Sue. Give Thanks. Beckenhorst BP 1317 [1989] (two part, E)
  • Rutter, John. All Things Bright & Beautiful. Hinshaw HMC-1016 [1983] (SATB with keyboard, E-M)
  • Rutter, John. Look at the World. Hinshaw HMC 1527 [1996] (children's choir and/or SATB choir and keyboard, E-M)

6. Alternative Harmonizations for "Built on the Rock" can be found in the following:
KIRKEN ["Built on the Rock"]

  • Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
    • Johnson, David N. Free Harmonizations of Twelve Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9190 [1964]
    • Wood, Dale. New Settings of Twenty Well-Known Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9292 [1968]

7. The anthem " What Gift Can We Bring?" by Jane Marshall is scored for mixed voices and congregation with keyboard and is published by Hope CY3370 [1990] (E-M). It can be found in a hymnal setting in SNC 232.

8. Additional resources for "Cantad al Señor/O Sing to the Lord" can be found in:

  • Alternative Harmonizations for Organ:
    • Burkhardt, Michael. As Though the Whole Creation Cried. Morningstar MSM-10-555 [2001]
    • Hobby, Robert A. Cantad al Senor. Morningstar MSM-20-712 [1994]
  • Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
    • Cherwien, David M. Cantad al Senor. CPH 97-6628 [1999]
    • Organ, Anne Krentz. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg11-11045 [2000]

9. "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" by Craig Courtney is published by Beckenhorst BP 1522 [1998] and scored for SATB voices with flute or violin and keyboard (E-M).

10. Alternative Harmonizations for "Now Thank We All Our God" can be found in the following resources:
NUN DANKET ["Now Thank We All Our God"]

  • Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
    • Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ, bk. 2. Ludwig O-07 [1983]
    • Wood, Dale. New Settings of Twenty Well-Known Hymn Tunes. Augsburg 11-9292 [1968]

11. Offertory and Postlude suggestions on "Now Thank We All Our God" are as follows:
NUN DANKET ["Now Thank We All Our God"]
Offertory:

  • Organ:
    • Albrecht, Timothy. Grace Notes X. Augsburg Fortress ISBN 0-8006-7561-4 [2002] (E-M)
    • Bach, J.S. Now Thank We All Our God (arr. Fox). H.W. Grey 868 [1959] (E-M)
    • Helman, Michael. Five for Autumn. Augsburg Fortress ISBN 0-8006-7671-8 [ 2004] (E-M)
    • Manz, Paul. Ten Chorale Improvisations, set 8. Concordia 97-5342 [1979] (M)
    • Mendelssohn, Felix. Music for a Celebration, set 3. Morningstar MSM-10-56 [2004] (E-M)
    • Thompson, Randall. Chorale Prelude on Nun Danket alle Gott. Schirmer 4495 [1990] (M)
    • Wold, Wayne. Harmonies of Liberty. Augsburg Fortress ISBN 0-8006-7575-4 [2003] (E-M)
  • Piano:
    • Carter, John. Hymns for Piano II. Hope 8197 [2003] (E-M)
    • David, Anne Marie. Here I Am, Lord. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7566-5 [2002] (M)
  • Handbells:
    • Dobrinski, Cynthia. Now Thank We All Our God. Agape 2155 [2000] (3-5 octaves, level 3)
    • Wiltse, Carl. Now Thank We All Our God. Stained Glass [1984] (3 octaves, E-M)

Postlude:

  • Organ:
    • Burkhardt, Michael. Praise and Thanksgiving, set 4. Morningstar MSM-10-754 [1991] (E-M)
    • Callahan, Charles. Thanksgiving Suite. Morningstar MSM-10-600 [1988] (E-M)
    • Cherwien, David. Postludes on Well Known Hymns. Augsburg11-10795 [1997] (M-D)
    • Johnson, David N. Hymns Settings for Organ. Augsburg Fortress ISBN 0-8006-7498-7 [2002] (E-M)
    • Johnson, David N. Now Thank We All Our God. Augsburg 11-9330 [1982] (E-M)
    • Karg-Elert, Sigfrid. A Collection of Thanksgiving Music. H.W. Grey [1938] (M)
    • Karg-Elert, Sigfrid. Music for a Celebration, set 3. Morningstar MSM-10-565 [2004] (M)
  • Piano:
    • Carter, John. Hymns for Piano II. Hope 8197 [2003] (E-M)
    • David, Anne Marie. Here I Am, Lord. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7566-5 [2002] (M)
  • Handbells:
    • Dobrinski, Cynthia. Now Thank We All Our God. Agape 2155 [2000] (3-5 octaves, level 3)
    • Wiltse, Carl. Now Thank We All Our God. Stained Glass [1984] (3 octaves, E-M)

 

Comments