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God's Own Table

Words: S T Kimbrough, 2013
Music: tune, LAND OF REST, USA folk melody, arr. Dean McIntyre, 2013

Scholar, author and singer S T Kimbrough, Jr., has composed this new hymn text for Holy Communion, perhaps especially appropriate for World Communion Sunday. Kimbrough writes of this new text:

While editing the new edition of Charles Wesley's journal, I came across a passage he recorded on Sunday, July 20, 1740. "Our poor colliers [coal miners] being repelled from the Lord's table, by most of the Bristol ministers, I exhorted them, notwithstanding, to continue daily with one accord in the temple; where the wickedest administrator can neither spoil the prayers, nor poison the sacrament. These poor sinners have ears to hear."1 Though it might seem that exclusion from the sacrament could make ineffective the prayers and poison the sacrament, Wesley was clear that this was impossible, for the sacrament is God's. This vital reminder from Charles Wesley served as the motivation and inspiration for my writing the hymn text "God's own table."

Dr. Kimbrough is currently Research Fellow at the Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition at the Duke University Divinity School. He is well known as a recital and concert singer, as the founding director of the Global Praise program of The General Board of Global Ministries, and as the author of numerous books and articles.

The LAND OF REST tune was first published in The Christian Harp (1832). This arrangement is by Dean McIntyre (2013), Director of Music Resources at Discipleship Ministries in Nashville. An alternate accompaniment is available in The United Methodist Hymnal, no. 269.

"God's Own Table" (Sibelius)

"God's Own Table" (pdf)

1 S T Kimbrough, Jr. and Kenneth G. C. Newport, editors. The Manuscript Journal of The Reverend Charles Wesley, M.A., 2 vols. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2008), 1: 274.