Notes on the Notes – August 8, 2021

This week’s music:

“Be a Light”

“In a time full of war, be peace.
In a time full of doubt, just believe.
Yeah, there ain’t that much difference between you and me.
In a time full of war, be peace.

In a world full of hate, be a light.
When you do somebody wrong, make it right.
Don’t hide in the dark; you were born to shine.
In a world full of hate, be a light.”

Our candle-lighting response for the summer is the opening of the song “Be a Light,” recorded by American country music singer Thomas Rhett and featuring guest vocals from Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin, and Keith Urban. It was released on March 30, 2020.

Rhett said that he wrote the song in 2019, but chose to release it because he thought its message would be well received in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He told Billboard that the song “was really just about being a light in a dark place; being an encouragement to people.” He co-wrote the song with Matt Dragstrem, Josh Thompson, and Josh Miller.

Hear the full song at: https://youtu.be/8YuWAZmD0aU

“A Voice is Heard”

“Come, let us praise our God, come let us sing for joy,
With a heart of thanks we give honour.
You are a mighty God, you are the source of life.
Creator God, we give praise.
From the deepest seas – a voice is heard.
From the highest hills – a voice is heard.
From the rich dark earth – a voice is heard.
All creation sings! God is heard!

By Denis Avdic Bosnia and Herzegovina, Age 14

Come, let us praise our God, come let us sing for joy,
With a heart of thanks we give honour.
You are a mighty God, you are the source of life.
Creator God, we give praise.

Through the darkest night – a voice is heard.
Through the breaking dawn – a voice is heard.
Through the heart of life – a voice is heard.
All creation sings! God is heard!

Come, let us praise our God, come let us sing for joy,
With a heart of thanks we give honour.
You are a mighty God, you are the source of life.
Creator God, we give praise.”

This joyful songs expresses our belief that God’s voice is everywhere and, as a part of Creation, we too, can hear God’s voice. Whether or not we can hear it depends on if we are listening for it. This song by Australian Catholic composers Trisha Watts and Monica O’Brien, was written in 1998.

“My Love Colours Outside the Lines” (MV #138)

“My love colours outside the lines,
Exploring paths that few could ever find;
And takes me into places where I’ve never been before,
And opens doors to worlds outside the lines.

My Lord colours outside the lines,
Turns wounds to blessings, water into wine;
And takes me into places where I’ve never been before
And opens doors to worlds outside the lines.

We’ll never walk on water if we’re not prepared to drown,
Body and soul need a soaking from time to time.
And we’ll never move the gravestones if we’re not prepared to die,
And realize there are worlds outside the lines.

My soul longs to colour outside the lines,
Tear back the curtains, sun, come in and shine;
I want to walk beyond the boundaries where I’ve never been before,
Throw open doors to worlds outside the lines.”

This song is by Gordon Light (1995) of the Common Cup Company, arranged for More Voices by Andrew Donaldson.  It speaks to our longing to follow God’s call, and gently encourages us to overcome our fear of stepping out of our comfort zone in order to do so.  Read a blog post on the subject of colouring outside the lines at:  https://indianapolisfaith.org/2019/05/05/coloring-outside-the-lines/

See the song sung in worship at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbrXdLCRays

“Hallelujah”

“Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor falls, the major lifts
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
 
Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew her
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
 
Well, maybe there’s a God above
As for me all I’ve ever learned from love
Is how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
But it’s not a crime that you’re hear tonight
It’s not some pilgrim who claims to have seen the Light
No, it’s a cold and it’s a very broken Hallelujah
 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
 
Well people I’ve been here before
I know this room and I’ve walked this floor
You see I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
But listen love, love is not some kind of victory march, no
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
 
There was a time you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And I remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove she was moving too
And every single breath we drew was Hallelujah
 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
 
Now I’ve done my best, I know it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come here to London just to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand right here before the Lord of song
With nothing, nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah…”
 
The song “Hallelujah” was written and composed by Canadian poet and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen (1934-2016), who said in interviews that it took at least four years and two notebooks to write an unspecified number of completed verses. This song will be the focus of our meditation this week.  The video we will see is the film by Matthew Richardson.  Richardson wrote about the film: “Religion is a tough subject for many in the LGBTQ community, and this piece is a reflection of the struggle and rejection we often feel.” He adds, “My message is that religion should inspire more kindness and open arms, even towards those you may not understand.”
 
See Leonard Cohen perform the song in London:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrLk4vdY28Q
 
Watch k.d. lang perform at the 2010 Olympics Opening Ceremony:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcOQSk_cMO0
 
See the a capella version by Pentatonix:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRP8d7hhpoQ
 

“We are a Rainbow” (An Affirming Hymn)

By Olivia – WPUC 2018

“We’re the light of all the world, we are a city on a hill,
We’re a candle on a stand proclaiming light,
We not hide our lamp beneath a bushel anymore,
We will shine a ray of hope that’s burning bright.

We are a rainbow, sign of covenant and peace
For the flood of tears will finally cease to be,
Come shine your rainbow, splash your hues across the sky,
Paint the world in colours proud and bold and free.

We’re a coat of many colours, sewn from many different threads,
Covering all in warmth, in welcome and in grace,
God said, “Let there be light,” created every varied shade,
In the rainbow each of us can find a place.

We are a rainbow…

We are hope to still believe in tomorrow’s better day,
We are peace in a world that’s torn apart,
We are joy that will last in all the struggles that we face
We are love that blooms and grows in every hearts.

We are a rainbow…

When we face the storms of life, we will never be alone,
For our God will be with us on the way,
Hand in hand, side by side, we won’t be frightened anymore,
As the mourning night of tears breaks into day.

We are a rainbow, sign of covenant and peace
For the flood of tears will finally cease to be,
Come shine your rainbow, splash your hues across the sky,
Paint the world in colours proud and bold and free.

The words and music for this powerful song were written by David Kai in 2017.  Through the lyrics, David Kai makes many Biblical references to both the Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament.  The words speak to acceptance and pride in being ones true self, without fear or discrimination.  The tune for the hymn is SLOCAN.  David Kai often names his hymn tunes after camps and ghost towns where Canadians of Japanese descent were interned during the Second World War.  To learn more about the Slocan Extension Internment Camps, go to: https://heritagebc.ca/japanese-canadian-location/slocan-extension-internment-camps/

“Lord, Prepare Me to be a Sanctuary” (MV #18)

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living
Sanctuary for you.”

This simple song was written by John W. Thompson and Randy Scruggs in 1982.    The lyrics of “Sanctuary” are a request for God to purify oneself.   We come before God as flawed individuals, trusting in God’s love and grace.  Safe in this love, we thankfully become a living vessel for God.

To listen to the song go to:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LiTy7nd

“May We Rise”

May we rise with all Creation as the Spirit gives us strength.
May we heed the inner wisdom that God’s loving knows no length.
May we be a faith filled people, living out compassion’s way.
May we find the heart-felt courage to embrace the dawning day.

May we rise. Let the songs of Love be sung.
May we rise. Sisters, brothers we are one, we are one.

May we walk to meet the shadows of our woundedness and grief.
May we trust the Holy Spirit to bring healing and relief.
May we live with Love and justice, bring Your messages of Peace.
May we know the guiding power of Your gift of Grace released.

May we rise. Let the songs of Love be sung.
May we rise. Sisters, brothers we are one, we are one.

by Anshi from Bangladesh

May we reach beyond the bound’ries of the walls that do divide.
May we feel the gift of Presence in Life’s circle with no sides.
May we listen for Your calling, hearts be open to Your Way.
May we live as one in Christ. As one people, God we pray.

May we rise. Let the songs of Love be sung.
May we rise. Sisters, brothers we are one, we are one.

“May We Rise” was one of the songs selected by a Canadian ecumenical committee and the World Council of Churches to be part of the worship material for 2015′s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The song was written by Pat Mayberry and John Wesley Oldham (2012) and has been arranged for piano by David Kai.

“Step by Step”

“Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You’ll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days.”

Our summer benediction response was written in 1991 by Beaker.

Hear Michael W. Smith singing the song at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ve720TWDZdg

 

Categories: General News, Notes on the Notes
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