Knowing, Loving, Serving…
So the World Will Know Christ’s Love

07.19.20 “Faith in Homecoming”

Psalm 84

Sunday Worship at Home
Bethel UMC Columbia | Rev. Julie Songer Belman
July 19, 2020

Preparation:  Find a spot in your home for yourself/your family to engage in worship. Include your Bible, a candle, and a lighter or matches (or battery operated candle or low wattage table lamp), if possible. You might consider a small cross as well.

Welcome: Thank you for joining us! We pray you will be blessed by your time of worship with us today.

Prelude:  “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”
While Bill plays the prelude, we invite you to light or turn on the candle/lamp to acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit in your worship. Take a deep breath and give thanks for God’s presence. 

Prayers of the People:  Please join with Pastor Reggie as he prays today. Pray for yourself, your family, your church community, your city, your state, your country, our world. Pray for the global health situation, particularly for those who are sick, those who are lonely, those who are gripped by fear, those who are facing financial hardship, those without safe shelter, those who are hungry, our healthcare workers, our leaders in every realm. Give thanks, once again, for God’s faithfulness and seek God’s guidance for ways to offer love and grace in the world right now.

The Lord’s Prayer:  Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.

Hymn Meditation:  For the Beauty of the Earth

This hymn was written by Folliott Pierpoint, who lived a rather leisurely life in the lovely town of Bath, England.  It is thought that the loveliness of the area inspired Pierpoint to write this hymn.  

While we would be inclined to classify “For the Beauty of the Earth” as a hymn of thanksgiving or praise, Pierpoint wrote it originally as a Eucharistic hymn.  He ended the refrain with these words, which reflect the idea of the Mass as a sacrifice:

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

The original eight stanzas have been pared down to six for The United Methodist Hymnal. Each stanza paints a picture of gratitude embodied in some aspect of God’s creation:

the earth (stanzas 1 and 2)

For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth over and around us lies;
For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night,

hill and vale and tree and flower, sun and moon and stars of light;

 the senses (stanza 3)

For the joy of ear and eye, for the heart and mind’s delight,
for the mystic harmony linking sense to sound and sight;

 “human love” (stanza 4)

For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child, 
friends on earth and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild;

the church (stanza 5)

For thy church, that evermore lifteth holy hands above, 
offering up on every shore her poure sacrifice of love;

and the final stanza addresses Christ himself as a gift

For thyself, best Gift Divine,
to the world so freely given,
for that great, great love of thine,
peace on earth, and joy in heaven.

As we listen to this hymn today, let us determine to be more intentional this week about seeing and appreciating the many beauties and joys that God has placed at our disposal.

[Information for this mediation was gathered from both the Sermon Writer Hymn Story by Richard Niell Donovan ( and History of Hymns: “For the Beauty of the Earth” by C. Michael Hawn (]]

Scripture:  This week Pastor Julie is preaching on Paslm 84.
We invite you to open your Bibles (or the Bible app on your phone!) at home and read along.

Sermon:  Faith in Homecoming”  Rev. Julie Songer Belman
Listen to, watch, or read a sermon. You can find access to all of Bethel’s recent sermons on our website:

Anthem: “O That I Had A Thousand Voices”  Enjoy this beautiful piece sung by our Bethel Choir.

Offertory:  “God Is Here” played by our wonderful organist, Bill Webb.
Your continued support of God’s ongoing work at Bethel UMC is sincerely appreciated. Contributions to the mission of Bethel {Knowing, Loving, Serving: so the world may experience Christ’s Love!} may be made by mailing a check to 4600 Daniel Drive, Columbia SC 29206, or giving online at:  You may also contact your bank to have them draft a check on your behalf.

Benediction:  Say these words aloud:  
Let us go into the world, singing a love song to God.
Let us make our dwelling among God and His people, today and always. AMEN!

Go in Peace:  Check on someone you love today.