Sadhu Sundar Singh
Known in his lifetime as India’s most famous convert to Christianity, Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889–1929) would not approve of that characterization. He loved Jesus and devoted his life to knowing him and following him, but he never accepted Christianity’s cultural conventions, even as he embraced its stark original teachings. A modern Saint Francis, Sundar Singh left the wealth of his home at sixteen to live as a sadhu, or wandering holy man. His beggar-like existence, his intense devotion, his mystical encounters with Jesus, and his simple yet profound parables became the stuff of legends. No one who met him – including the thousands who flocked to hear him during his visits to Europe, the Orient, and the United States – remained unaffected. 1
Sadhu on prayer: “The essence of prayer does not consist in asking God for something but in opening our hearts to God, in speaking with Him, and living with Him in perpetual communion. Prayer is continual abandonment to God.” “Prayer does not mean asking God for all kinds of things we want, it is rather the desire for God Himself, the only Giver of Life.” “Prayer is not asking, but union with God.” “Prayer is not a painful effect to gain from God help in the varying needs of our lives. Prayer is the desire to possess God Himself, the Source of all Life.” “The true spirit of prayer does not consist in asking for blessings, but in receiving Him who is the giver of all blessing, and in living a life of fellowship with Him.” “Prayer is not a kind of begging for favours; it is rather breathing and living in God.” “A little child often runs to its mother and exclaims: ‘Mother! Mother!’ Very often the child does not want anything in particular, he only wants to be near his mother, to situ pon her lap, or to follow her about the house, for the sheer pleasure of being near her, talking to her, hearing her dear voice. Then the child is happy. His happiness does not consist in asking and receiving all kinds of things from his mother. If that were what he wanted, he would be impatient and obstinate and therefore unhappy. No, his happiness lies in feeling his mother’s love and care, and in knowing the joy of her mother-love.” “It is just the same with the true children of God; they do not trouble themselves so much about spiritual blessings. They only want to sit at the Lord’s feet, to be in living touch with Him, and when they do that they are supremely content.”?
You will show me the path of life,
the fullness of joy in your presence, O Lord. Psalm 16
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires, known,
and from whom no secrets are hid:
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will declare your praise.
Make haste, O God, to deliver me;
make haste to help me, O Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Praise to you, O Christ, Alleluia!
HYMN: Graham Kendrick ©
1 Lord, the light of your love is shining,
In the midst of the darkness, shining.
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us;
Set us free by the truth you now bring us:
Shine on me; Shine on me.
Shine, Jesus, shine,
fill this land with the Father’s glory.
Blaze, Spirit, blaze,
set our hearts on fire.
Flow, river, flow,
flood the nations with grace and mercy.
Send forth your Word, Lord,
and let there be light!
2 Lord, I come to your awesome presence,
From the shadows into your radiance;
By the blood I may enter your brightness;
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness:
Shine on me; Shine on me. [Refrain]
3 As we gaze on your kingly brightness,
So our faces display your likeness,
Ever changing from glory to glory,
Mirrored here, may our lives tell your story:
Shine on me; Shine on me. [Refrain]
Psalm 119: 73-104 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/y8qj25yx)
73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me *
O give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.
74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me *
because I have put my trust in thy word.
75 I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right *
and that thou of very faithfulness hast caused me to be troubled.
76 O let thy merciful kindness be my comfort *
according to thy word unto thy servant.
77 O let thy loving mercies come unto me, that I may live *
for thy law is my delight.
78 Let the proud be confounded,
for they go wickedly about to destroy me *
but I will be occupied in thy commandments.
79 Let such as fear thee, and have known thy testimonies *
be turned unto me.
80 O let my heart be sound in thy statutes *
that I be not ashamed.
81 My soul hath longed for thy salvation *
and I have a good hope because of thy word.
82 Mine eyes long sore for thy word *
saying, O when wilt thou comfort me?
83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke *
yet do I not forget thy statutes.
84 How many are the days of thy servant *
when wilt thou be avenged of them that persecute me?
85 The proud have digged pits for me *
which are not after thy law.
86 All thy commandments are true *
they persecute me falsely; O be thou my help.
87 They had almost made an end of me upon earth *
but I forsook not thy commandments.
88 O quicken me after thy loving-kindness *
and so shall I keep the testimonies of thy mouth.
89 O Lord, thy word *
endureth for ever in heaven.
90 Thy truth also remaineth from one generation to another *
thou hast laid the foundation of the earth, and it abideth.
91 They continue this day according to thine ordinance *
for all things serve thee.
92 If my delight had not been in thy law *
I should have perished in my trouble.
93 I will never forget thy commandments *
for with them thou hast quickened me.
94 I am thine, O save me *
for I have sought thy commandments.
95 The ungodly laid wait for me to destroy me *
but I will consider thy testimonies.
96 I see that all things come to an end *
but thy commandment is exceeding broad.
97 Lord, what love have I unto thy law *
all the day long is my study in it.
98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies *
for they are ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than my teachers *
for thy testimonies are my study.
100 I am wiser than the aged *
because I keep thy commandments.
101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way *
that I may keep thy word.
102 I have not shrunk from thy judgements *
for thou teachest me.
103 O how sweet are thy words unto my throat *
yea, sweeter than honey unto my mouth.
104 Through thy commandments I get understanding *
therefore I hate all evil ways.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.
Psalm 119:73-104 (Karl Kohlhase:
Your hands made me and fashioned me;
help me understand your commandments.
May the fearful see and be glad,
because I wait for your word.
O LORD, I know your judgments are righteous,
and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
May your love become my comfort,
by your word unto your servant.
May your mercy come so I’ll live,
your law is my delight.
May the proud be ashamed of their lies;
while I meditate on your precepts.
May the fearful turn unto me,
even those who know your teachings.
May my heart become blameless in your laws,
so I will not be ashamed.
My soul longs for your salvation;
I wait upon your word.
My eyes go out for your word,
“When will you comfort me?”
Though a wineskin in the smoke,
I will not forget your laws.
How long are the days of your servant?
When will you judge those who hurt me?
For the proud have dug pits for me,
who are not in accord with your law.
All your commandments are faithful;
help me when I’m hurt by their lies!
They have almost destroyed me on earth,
but I’ll not forsake your precepts.
Revive me according to your love,
so I’ll keep the word of your mouth.
Forever, O LORD, your word is settled in heaven.
Your faithfulness is for all ages;
you set the earth firm, and it stands.
They stand to this day by your ordinances,
all things are for your servants.
If your law not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you revived me.
I am yours, please rescue me;
for I have sought your precepts.
Though the wicked looked out for my harm;
yet I discerned your teachings.
Saw the limit of all perfection;
your command is exceedingly broad.
O how I love your law!
My meditation all through the day.
Your commands make me wiser than my foes,
for they are ever mine.
I have insight beyond all my teachers,
for your teachings are my meditation.
Understanding more than the aged,
because your precepts I keep.
I’ve restrained my feet from all evil,
that I may keep your word.
I’ve not turned aside from your rulings,
for you yourself have taught me.
O how sweet are your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
From your precepts I get understanding;
so I hate every false way.
O God for whom there are no barriers,
no stones too big to remove,
roll away our resistance to you.
Let your words fill us with new life
and bring us out from the tomb of indifference,
alive again in you.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. CGP
THE WORD OF GOD
Reading: 1 Samuel 20:1-23
David fled from Naioth in Ramah. He came before Jonathan and said, ‘What have I done? What is my guilt? And what is my sin against your father that he is trying to take my life?’ He said to him, ‘Perish the thought! You shall not die. My father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me; and why should my father hide this from me? Never!’ But David also swore, ‘Your father knows well that you like me; and he thinks, “Do not let Jonathan know this, or he will be grieved.” But truly, as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, there is but a step between me and death.’ Then Jonathan said to David, ‘Whatever you say, I will do for you.’ David said to Jonathan, ‘Tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at the meal; but let me go, so that I may hide in the field until the third evening. If your father misses me at all, then say, “David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem his city; for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.” If he says, “Good!” it will be well with your servant; but if he is angry, then know that evil has been determined by him. Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a sacred covenant with you. But if there is guilt in me, kill me yourself; why should you bring me to your father?’ Jonathan said, ‘Far be it from you! If I knew that it was decided by my father that evil should come upon you, would I not tell you?’ Then David said to Jonathan, ‘Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?’ Jonathan replied to David, ‘Come, let us go out into the field.’ So they both went out into the field.
Jonathan said to David, ‘By the Lord, the God of Israel! When I have sounded out my father, about this time tomorrow, or on the third day, if he is well disposed towards David, shall I not then send and disclose it to you? But if my father intends to do you harm, the Lord do so to Jonathan, and more also, if I do not disclose it to you, and send you away, so that you may go in safety. May the Lord be with you, as he has been with my father. If I am still alive, show me the faithful love of the Lord; but if I die, never cut off your faithful love from my house, even if the Lord were to cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.’ Thus Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, ‘May the Lord seek out the enemies of David.’ Jonathan made David swear again by his love for him; for he loved him as he loved his own life.
Jonathan said to him, ‘Tomorrow is the new moon; you will be missed, because your place will be empty. On the day after tomorrow, you shall go a long way down; go to the place where you hid yourself earlier, and remain beside the stone there. I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark. Then I will send the boy, saying, “Go, find the arrows.” If I say to the boy, “Look, the arrows are on this side of you, collect them”, then you are to come, for, as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger. But if I say to the young man, “Look, the arrows are beyond you”, then go; for the Lord has sent you away. As for the matter about which you and I have spoken, the Lord is witness between you and me for ever.’
HYMN: Will L Thompson
1 Jesus is all the world to me,
My life, my joy, my all;
He is my strength from day to day,
Without him I would fall:
When I am sad, to him I go,
No other one can cheer me so;
When I am sad, he makes me glad,
He’s my friend.
2 Jesus is all the world to me,
My friend in trials sore;
I go to him for blessings, and
He gives them o’er and o’er:
He sends the sunshine and the rain,
He sends the harvest’s golden grain;
Sunshine and rain, harvest of grain,
He’s my friend.
3 Jesus is all the world to me,
And true to him I’ll be;
Oh, how could I this friend deny,
When he’s so true to me?
Following him I know I’m right,
He watches o’er me day and night;
Following him by day and night,
He’s my friend.
4 Jesus is all the world to me,
I want no better friend;
I trust him now, I’ll trust him when
Life’s fleeting days shall end:
Beautiful life with such a friend,
Beautiful life that has no end;
Eternal life, eternal joy,
He’s my friend.
Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:1-7
We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints— and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us, so that we might urge Titus that, as he had already made a beginning, so he should also complete this generous undertaking among you. Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you—so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.
HYMN: Henry Elliott Fox ©
Tune: Ombersley https://tinyurl.com/ywyhw2v2
1 Send out the gospel! Let it sound
northward and southward, east and west;
tell all the world Christ died and lives-
he gives us pardon, life and rest.
2 Send out the gospel, mighty Lord!
Out of this chaos bring to birth
your own creation’s promised hope:
the coming days of heaven on earth.
3 Send out your gospel, gracious Lord!
Yours was the blood for sinners shed;
your voice still pleads in human hearts-
let all the world to you be led.
4 Send out your gospel, holy Lord!
Kindle in us love’s sacred flame;
love giving all with heart and mind,
for Jesus’ sake, in Jesus’ name.
5 Send out the gospel! Make it known!
Christians, obey your master’s call;
sing out his praise! he comes to reign,
the King of Kings and Lord of all.
Reading: John 8:31-47
Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teaching. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They responded, “We are Abraham’s children; we’ve never been anyone’s slaves. How can you say that we will be set free?” Jesus answered, “I assure you that everyone who sins is a slave to sin. A slave isn’t a permanent member of the household, but a son is. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you really will be free. I know that you are Abraham’s children, yet you want to kill me because you don’t welcome my teaching. I’m telling you what I’ve seen when I am with the Father, but you are doing what you’ve heard from your father.” They replied, “Our father is Abraham.”
Jesus responded, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do Abraham’s works. Instead, you want to kill me, though I am the one who has spoken the truth I heard from God. Abraham didn’t do this. You are doing your father’s works.” They said, “Our ancestry isn’t in question! The only Father we have is God!”
Jesus replied, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God. Here I am. I haven’t come on my own. God sent me. Why don’t you understand what I’m saying? It’s because you can’t really hear my words. Your father is the devil. You are his children, and you want to do what your father wants. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has never stood for the truth, because there’s no truth in him. Whenever that liar speaks, he speaks according to his own nature, because he’s a liar and the father of liars. Because I speak the truth, you don’t believe me. Who among you can show I’m guilty of sin? Since I speak the truth, why don’t you believe me? God’s children listen to God’s words. You don’t listen to me because you aren’t God’s children.”
CANTICLE 1 Peter 2:21-24
(Chant by John Michael Talbot: https://tinyurl.com/y94v9fvt)
Ant. If we share fully in the sufferings of Christ,
through Christ we shall know the fullness of his consolation.
Christ suffered for you,
and left you an example
to have you follow in his footsteps.
He did no wrong;
no deceit was found in his mouth.
When he was insulted,
he returned no insult.
When he was made to suffer,
he did not counter with threats.
Instead he delivered himself up
to the One who judges justly.
In his own body
he brought your sins to the cross,
so that all of us, dead to sin,
could live in accord with God’s will.
By his wounds you were healed.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
THE PRAYERS BCW
Merciful God, we praise you that you give strength for every weakness, forgiveness
for our failures, and new beginnings in Jesus Christ.
Especially we thank you for
the guidance of your spirit through this day . . .
signs of new life and hope . . .
people who have helped us . . .
those who struggle for justice . . .
expressions of love unexpected or undeserved. . . .
Almighty God, you know all needs before we speak our prayers, yet you welcome
our concerns for others in Jesus Christ. Especially we pray for
those who keep watch over the sick and dying . . .
those who weep with the grieving . . .
those who are without faith and cannot accept your love . . .
the aged who are lonely, distressed or weak . . .
Reformed, Presbyterian, and Lutheran churches. . . .
(Traditional chant: http://oremus.org/chant/LP-1940.mp3)
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,
for ever and ever. Amen.
you are the tree of life,
offering shelter to all the world.
Graft us into yourself and nurture our growth,
that we, like Sadhu, may bear your truth and love
to those in need,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. ELW, alt.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen. 2 Cor. 13:14
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Since 1993, Oremus has been done on a volunteer basis. If you are able, please consider supporting this work at the PayPal link below. For software reasons, I’ve set the value at $10.00, but feel free to change it. Thank you.
BCW Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., 1993.
ELW Evangelical Lutheran Worship.
The Lord’s Prayer is the traditional chant as set in The Hymnal 1940 and sung by Kathryn Mannyng https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsJ2TB9pLbU
The three main scripture readings are from the The New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Edition, The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reading from John is © Common English Bible.
The traditional language psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern language version of Psalm 119 is by Karl Kohlhase http://www.k4communications.com/karl/index.html
Musical links are usually either to artists’ albums posted on Spotify or to recordings made available at smallchurchmusic.com. Audio stripped from YouTube videos is footnoted accordingly above.
Compilation © 2021 Stephen T. Benner. All links worked at the time they were created, but I cannot accept responsibility for their content or any damage resulting from their use. The linked content is under the control of the respective content creators and is subject to change at any time. Any copyright texts included in this compilation are provided for non-commercial purposes related to study or worship. Please contact the respective copyright holders for permission to use the texts in other contexts.