"A Charge to Keep I Have” (UMH, #413)

 

WORDS

1 A charge to keep I have, A God to glorify!
A never-dying soul to save, And fit it for the sky;

2 From youth to hoary age, My calling to fulfil;
O may it all my powers engage To do my Master’s will.

3 Arm me with jealous care, As in Thy sight to live;
And, O Thy servant, Lord, prepare A strict account to give.

4 Help me to watch and pray, And on Thyself rely;
Assured, if I my trust betray, I shall for ever die.

 

BACKGROUND

The inspiration for the hymn comes from Matthew Henry’s commentary on Leviticus;  http://www.lectionary.org/HymnStories/A%20Charge%20to%20Keep%20I%20Have.htm

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

What characteristic United Methodist belief statements do you find in this hymn?

What phrase really speaks to your mind or heart as very important for us to understand and remember?

*After singing the hymn, ask the participants how this hymn may have fit within the  structure of early Methodism and whether the hymn would have had different  meanings when sung in a society gathering or in a band meeting.

RESOURCES

Hymnary.org suggests the following scripture references: Leviticus 8:35, Psalm 40:8, Psalm 143:10, Matthew 26:29-41, Mark 13:37, Mark 14:38, Luke 21:36, Romans 14:12, 1 Corinthians 6:20, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Ephesians 4:1-4, Philippians 3:14, 2 Thessalonians 1:11, 1 Timothy 6:11-21, 2 Timothy 1:9, 2 Peter 1:10.

Discussion questions and comments marked with an asterisk (*) are drawn from the Advanced Lay Speaker course materials Living Our United Methodist Beliefs by George Hovaness Donigian. This instructional resource is available from the Upper Room Bookstore at http://bookstore.upperroom.org/cart/upperroom/p-17972.htm?tptm=pf.

 

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