Free hymn for Sept. 11’s Inclusion Sunday

Permission is given for free use of this hymn, including in online worship services.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

The following new hymn, commissioned by Presbyterians for Disability Concerns for Inclusion Sunday’s Disability Inclusion Sunday Worship Material for September 11, takes the very familiar parable of the lost sheep and looks at it in a new way, as the church seeks to be inclusive of all people.

Once a Sheep Was in a Pasture

HYMN TO JOY D (“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”)

Once a sheep was in a pasture with the other ninety-nine.
Their good shepherd loved those hundred, and he told them, “You are mine!”
As the hundred grazed together, for some reason yet untold,
one found she was separated from the shepherd, from the fold.

Shepherd, sometimes we face trouble, far from others, far from you.
There are different ways we struggle, different things that we can do.
There are times we’re prone to wander; there are times we’re pushed away.
Shepherd, by your love you find us — then in joy you celebrate!

Like a shepherd, Lord, you know us and the songs our spirits sing.
You accept us and you love us — and you know the gifts we bring.
With our signing, with our voices, with our hearts, may we express:
Shepherd, by your love you find us — we are yours, and we are blessed!

Shepherd, by your love you find us, then you send us out in turn
to seek out all your beloved and to bring the wounded home.
As we lead and help each other, as we advocate and pray,
may we shepherd one another on your faithful, loving Way.

Biblical Reference: Luke 15:1-10
Tune: Ludwig van Beethoven, 1824 (“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”)  (MIDI)
Text: Copyright © 2022 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
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Permission is given for free use of this hymn for congregational worship by churches celebrating the PC(USA)’s Inclusion Sunday, September 11, 2022.

For full sheet music, Once a Sheep Was in a Pasture