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: Psalm 23; para. Henry Williams Baker
Tune: Dominus regit me https://tinyurl.com/55eshsd4
1 The King of love my shepherd is,
whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am his
and he is mine for ever.
2 Where streams of living water flow
my ransomed soul he leadeth,
and where the verdant pastures grow
with food celestial feedeth.
3 Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
but yet in love he sought me,
and on his shoulder gently laid,
and home rejoicing brought me.
4 In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
with thee, dear Lord, beside me;
thy rod and staff my comfort still,
thy cross before to guide me.
5 Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
thy unction grace bestoweth;
and O what transport of delight
from thy pure chalice floweth!
6 And so through all the length of days
thy goodness faileth never:
good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
within thy house for ever.
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: 2 Kings 2:15-22
When the company of prophets who were at Jericho saw him at a distance, they declared, ‘The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.’ They came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. They said to him, ‘See now, we have fifty strong men among your servants; please let them go and seek your master; it may be that the spirit of the Lord has caught him up and thrown him down on some mountain or into some valley.’ He responded, ‘No, do not send them.’ But when they urged him until he was ashamed, he said, ‘Send them.’ So they sent fifty men who searched for three days but did not find him. When they came back to him (he had remained at Jericho), he said to them, ‘Did I not say to you, Do not go?’
Now the people of the city said to Elisha, ‘The location of this city is good, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful.’ He said, ‘Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.’ So they brought it to him. Then he went to the spring of water and threw the salt into it, and said, ‘Thus says the Lord, I have made this water wholesome; from now on neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it.’ So the water has been wholesome to this day, according to the word that Elisha spoke.
HYMN: Psalm 42:1-6; para. The Psalter Hymnal, 1987
Tune: Genevan 42 https://tinyurl.com/yh5w2rzv
1 As a deer in want of water,
so I long for you, O LORD.
All my heart and being falter,
thirsting for your living word.
When shall I behold your face?
When shall I receive your grace?
When shall I, your praises voicing,
come before you with rejoicing?
2 Bitter tears of lamentation
are my food by night and day.
In my deep humiliation
“Where is now your God?” they say.
When my sorrows weigh on me,
then I bring to memory
how with throngs I would assemble,
shouting praises in your temple.
3 O my soul, why are you grieving,
why disquieted in me?
Put your hope in God, believing
he will still your refuge be.
I again shall praise his grace
for the comfort of his face;
he will show his help and favor,
for he is my God and Savior.
Reading: 2 Corinthians 7:5-16
For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted in every way—disputes without and fears within. But God, who consoles the downcast, consoled us by the arrival of Titus, and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was consoled about you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it (though I did regret it, for I see that I grieved you with that letter, though only briefly). Now I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance; for you felt a godly grief, so that you were not harmed in any way by us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves guiltless in the matter. So although I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did the wrong, nor on account of the one who was wronged, but in order that your zeal for us might be made known to you before God. In this we find comfort.
In addition to our own consolation, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his mind has been set at rest by all of you. For if I have been somewhat boastful about you to him, I was not disgraced; but just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting to Titus has proved true as well. And his heart goes out all the more to you, as he remembers the obedience of all of you, and how you welcomed him with fear and trembling. I rejoice, because I have complete confidence in you.
HYMN: Charles Wesley
Tune: Ombersley https://tinyurl.com/drbny6tu
1 God of all power, and truth, and grace,
which shall from age to age endure,
whose word, when heaven and earth shall pass,
remains and stands for ever sure;
2 that I your mercy may proclaim,
that all the world your truth may see,
hallow your great and glorious name,
and perfect holiness in me.
3 Purge me from every evil blot;
my idols all be cast aside:
cleanse me from every sinful thought,
from all the stain of self and pride.
4 Give me a new, a perfect heart,
from sorrow free, and doubt and fear;
the mind which was in Christ impart,
and let my spirit know you near.
5 O that I now, from sin released,
your word may to the utmost prove,
enter into the promised rest,
the Canaan of your perfect love!
Reading: John 10:22-42
The time came for the Festival of Dedication in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple, walking in the covered porch named for Solomon. The Jewish opposition circled around him and asked, “How long will you test our patience? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered, “I have told you, but you don’t believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you don’t believe because you don’t belong to my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life. They will never die, and no one will snatch them from my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them from my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
Again the Jewish opposition picked up stones in order to stone him. Jesus responded, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of those works do you stone me?” The Jewish opposition answered, “We don’t stone you for a good work but for insulting God. You are human, yet you make yourself out to be God.”
Jesus replied, “Isn’t it written in your Law, I have said, you are gods? Scripture calls those to whom God’s word came gods, and scripture can’t be abolished. So how can you say that the one whom the Father has made holy and sent into the world insults God because he said, ‘I am God’s Son’? If I don’t do the works of my Father, don’t believe me. But if I do them, and you don’t believe me, believe the works so that you can know and recognize that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Again, they wanted to arrest him, but he escaped from them.
Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had baptized at first, and he stayed there. Many people came to him. “John didn’t do any miraculous signs,” they said, “but everything John said about this man was true.” Many believed in Jesus there.
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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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 © 2022 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.