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Notes on the Notes – April 23, 2017

Earth Day

This week’s scripture reading:

Genesis 1:1-30

This week’s music:

“All Things Bright and Beautiful” (VU #291)

This classic text, from Cecil Frances Alexander’s Hymns for Little Children (1846), is based on the phrase “Maker of heaven and earth” in the Apostles’ Creed. The new words for verse four are particularly apt in the Canadian context. The tune, ROYAL OAK, is an English traditional melody associated with the restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660. The arrangement in Voices United is by Martin Shaw (1915). The editors of Voices United also changed the words slightly in the interest of inclusivity.

“All things bright and beautiful,imagesT52BL15O
all creatures great and small,

All things wise and wonderful
in love, God made them all.

Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings, God made their glowing colours, God made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountains, the river running by, the sunset and the morning that brightens up the sky.

The cold wind in the winter, the pleasant summer sun, the ripe fruits in the garden: God made them every one.

The rocky mountain splendor, the lone wolf’s haunting call, the great lakes and the prairies, the forest in the fall.

God gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell how great is God our maker, who has made all things well.”

Watch a beautiful video by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir:

“It’s a Song of Praise to the Maker” (MV#30)

“It’s a song of praise to the Maker, the thrush sings high in the tree.
It’s a song of praise to the Maker, the gray whale sings in the sea,

And by the Spirit you and I can join our voice to the holy crywhale
And sing, sing, sing to the Maker too.  

It’s a call of life to the Giver when waves and waterfalls roar.
It’s a call of life to the Giver when high tides break on the shore,
And by the Spirit…  

It’s a hymn of love to the Lover; the bumblebees hum along.
It’s a hymn of love to the Lover, the summer breeze joins the song,
And by the Spirit…  

It’s the chorus of all creation; it’s sung by all living things.
It’s the chorus of all creation; a song the universe sings,
And by the spirit…”

Ruth Duck and Ron Klusmeier collaborated on this song, which is based on Psalm 148.  Ruth uses the Psalm as inspiration for this hymn, which encourages us to join with all creation to “sing, sing, sing to the Maker too.”    It is a psalm which resounds with praise to the Lord God Almighty – the Creator of Heaven and the Earth.  As the work of His hands, it is only right and proper that all of heaven and earth praise the Lord.

“Called by Earth and Sky” (MV #135)

“Called by earth and sky, promise of hope held high,
This is our sacred living trust,
Treasure of life sanctified,
Called by earth and sky.

Precious these waters, endless seas,4-elements
Deep ocean’s dream,
Waters of healing, rivers of rain,
The wash of love again.

Precious this gift, the air we breathe;
Wind born and free.
Breath of the Spirit, blow through this place,
Our gathering and our grace.

Precious these mountains, ancient sands;
Vast fragile land.
Seeds of our wakening, rooted and strong,
Creation’s faithful song.

Precious the fire that lights our way,
Bright dawning day.
Fire of passion, sorrows undone,
Our faith and justice one.

Called by earth and sky…”

This song by Pat Mayberry and Margaret Stubbington (2005) is a call to live with respect in Creation, celebrating the ancient tradition of the four elements: water, air, earth and fire.

Creation Sings”

“Creation sings the Father’s song;
He calls the sun to wake the dawn and run the course of day till evening falls in crimson rays.
His fingerprints in flakes of snow,baby birds
His breath upon this spinning globe,
He charts the eagle’s flight; commands the new-born baby’s cry.

Let all creation stand and sing,
Fill the earth with songs of worship;
Tell the wonders of creation’s King.

Creation gazed upon His face;
The ageless One in time’s embrace unveiled the Father’s plan of reconciling God and man.
A second Adam walked the earth, whose blameless life would break the curse,
Whose death would set us free to live with Him eternally.

Creation longs for His return, when Christ shall reign upon the earth;
The bitter wars that rage are birth pains of a coming age.
When He renews the land and sky, all heaven will sing and earth reply with one resplendent theme:
The glories of our God and King!

Let all creation stand and sing,
Fill the earth with songs of worship;
Tell the wonders of creation’s King.”

This week’s anthem has words and music by Stuart Townend, Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty. It has been arranged by James Koerts (2009).

Hear the song at:  https://youtu.be/u2q7W-x-EeI

“For the Gift of Creation” (VU #538)

“For the gift of creation, the gift of your love,
And the gift of the Spirit by which we live,
We thank you and give you the fruit of our hands.
May your grace be proclaimed by the gifts that we give.”

Our offering response is from the United Methodist Book of Worship (1991) and is especially appropriate as we reflect on Earth Day.   The composer, Steve Garnaas-Holmes is a United Methodist pastor in Montana.

“Touch the Earth Lightly” (VU #307)

“Touch the earth lightly, use the earth gently,
Nourish the life of the world in our care:
Gift of great wonder, ours to surrender,
Trust for the children tomorrow will bear.

We who endanger, who create hunger,
8800671_origAgents of death for all creatures that live,
We who would foster clouds of disaster,
God of our planet, forestall and forgive!

Let there be greening, birth from the burning,
Water that blesses and air that is sweet,
Health in God’s garden, hope in God’s children,
Regeneration that peace will complete.

God of all living, God of all loving,
God of the seedling, the snow and the sun,
Teach us, deflect us, Christ reconnect us,
Using us gently and making us one.”

The words for this hymn were written by Shirley Erena Murray in 1991.  Shirley Erena Murray (born 31 March 1931) is a New Zealand hymn lyrics writer.  Her hymns have been translated into numerous languages and are represented in more than 140 hymn collections.  Professor and hymn writer Colin Gibson, who has set music to some of her songs, including this one (1991), described Murray’s hymns in 2009 as “distinguished by their inclusive language and their innovative use of Māori, their bold appropriation of secular terms and their original poetic imagery drawn from nature and domestic life, but equally by the directness with which they confront contemporary issues.”   Hear the hymn sung at Church of the Redeemer in worship at:  https://youtu.be/EcwyMmf3q0g

“Holy Ground”

“Walk gently on the earth – holy ground;
Light be our footsteps on the path – holy ground.
This earth a dwelling for earth kind
It is not our alone;
We share the soil, the seas, the winds
This is our common home.
Walk gently on the earth – holy ground.”


Categories: Notes on the Notes