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Notes on the Notes – February 18, 2018

Lent 1

Theme:  Jesus Raises Lazarus

Scripture Readings:

Psalm 104:27-30      John 11:1-44


“O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go” (VU #658)

“O Love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe, that in thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller be.

O Light that followest all my way, I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray, that in thy sunshine’s blaze its day may brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain, and feel the promise is not vain that morn shall tearless be.”


George Matheson, although nearly blind, studied for the church of Scotland ministry, assisted by his sisters, who learned Latin, Greek and Hebrew to help him.   He wrote this hymn at his parsonage during a particularly difficult time in his life.  It was published in 1882.  Albert Lister Peace composed this melody St. Margaret for Matheson’s text.

Hear the Westminster Chorus at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiZ9xXoZ1Mk

Hear Christ Rice at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuVt4okF-OM

Hear a unique acapella version by Sam Robson at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZad7yBVm5o

Hear the Gaither vocal band prior to a performance at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1O6z1t4sveQ

“Throughout These Lenten Days and Nights” (VU #108)

“Throughout these Lenten days and nights we turn to walk the inward way,
Where, meeting Christ, our guide and light, we live in hope till Easter Day.

The pilgrim Christ, the Lamb of God, who found in weakness greater power,
Embraces us, though lost and flawed, and leads us to his Rising Hour.

We bear the silence, cross and pain of human burdens, human strife,
While sisters, brothers help sustain our courage till the Feast of Life.

And though the road is hard and steep, the Spirit ever calls us on
Through Calvary’s dying, dark and deep, until we see the coming Dawn.

So let us choose the path of One who wore, for us, the crown of thorn,
And slept in death that we might wake to life on Resurrection Morn!

Rejoice, O sons and daughters!  Sing and shout hosannas!  Raise the strain!
For Christ, whose death Good Friday brings on Easter Day will rise again!”

Despite its penitential tone, this hymn evokes faith and courage through its solid text and powerful, familiar tune.  James Gertmenian, the pastor of a Congregational church in Connecticut, submitted this hymn for Lent and Holy Week to the January 1993 issue of NewSong, a newsletter which encouraged the writing of new congregational hymns.  The tune, WINCEHSTER NEW,  will be familiar to many as it is also the tune for the Advent hymn “On Jordan’s Bank.”

“What Calls Me from the Death” (MV #93)

“What calls me from the death where I have rested?
Why am I now emerging from my tomb?
I sense that I am coming to be tested.
Is this my second birthing from the womb?

Now I can hear the voice of Jesus calling,
But it is not the Saviour’s voice alone,
For others share their words as tears are falling.
Collectively, they roll away the stone.

The remnants of my past I now am shedding;
The bits of cloth that cling I now discard.
And in this new direction I am heading,
I know that I will find my own reward.

No matter that my tomb was of long standing,
That change seemed futile, out of reach for me.
If I accept the life that God is handing,
My blessing is a new identity.”

This hymn of resurrection echoes the story of Lazarus that we will be reading from John 11. It was written by Mary R. Bittner and Fred Kimball Graham. We can view the hymn as a simple re-telling from the point of view of Lazarus. Or, can we go deeper, looking into the “dead” parts of our life and trusting that we, too, can be “resurrected?”

Lenten Response – “Spirit, Open my Heart” (MV #79 chorus)

“Spirit, open my heart to the joy and pain of living.
As you love may I love, in receiving and in giving,
Spirit, open my heart.”

The words for this hymn were written by Ruth Duck in 1994.    The words are sung to the traditional Irish melody WILD MOUNTAIN THYME, which was arranged by Arthur G. Clyde in 1997.  We will be singing the chorus in response to the Lenten candle liturgy.

Hear an instrumental version of the tune at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emNeA_-fI7w

“10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul; worship his holy name.
Sing like never before, O my soul; I’ll worship your holy name.

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning, it’s time to sing your song again.
10,000 reasonsWhatever may pass, and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes.

You’re rich in love and you’re slow to anger.
Your name is great and your heart is kind.
For all your goodness, I will keep on singing; ten thousand reasons for my heart to find.

And on that day when my strength is failing, the end draws near and my time has come; still my soul will sing your praise unending; ten thousand years and then forevermore!

The words and music for this week’s anthem are by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman.  The choral setting is by Lloyd Larson.   The lyrics are a testament to a life of praise to God.  The anthem was dedicated in memory of Sharon Field.

See the Matt Redman video for the song at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtwIT8JjddM

Read about ideas behind the theology of the song at:  http://singingchurch.blogspot.ca/2013/10/matt-redman-and-theology-of-10000.html

Lenten Offering Response

“For the life that you have given,
For the love in Christ made known,
With these fruits of time and labour,
With these gifts that are your own;
Here we offer, Lord our praises;
Heart and mind and strength we bring;
Give us grace to love and serve you,
Living what we pray and sing.”

We will be using this chorus as our Lenten offering response.  It will be sung to the tune BEACH SPRING.

“I am the Resurrection”

9760-ea_resurrection_life Jesus design.png

“I am the resurrection and the life,
All who believe in me will never die,
I am the resurrection and the life,
All who believe in me will live a new life.

I have come to bring the truth,
I have come to bring you life,
If you believe… then you shall live.

In my word all will come to know
It is love which makes the spirit grow;
If you believe…then you shall live.

Keep in mind the things that I have said;
Remember me in the breaking of the bread;
If you believe…then you shall live.

I am the resurrection and the life,
All who believe in me will never die,
I am the resurrection and the life,
All who believe in me will live, will live a new life!

This classic by Ray Repp is from 1966.  Repp is a Roman Catholic singer-songwriter credited with introducing folk music into Catholic masses with his 1965 album Mass for Young Americans that formed the earliest stirrings of Contemporary Christian music.

The chorus of this song is a direct quotation from John 11:25, where Jesus speaks to a grieving Martha after the death of her brother, Lazarus.

Hear the original recording at:  https://youtu.be/4mcnJdm4SzM

“Let the Cross be our Glory”

“Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song,
By mercy made holy, by the Spirit made strong.
Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song
‘Til the likeness of Jesus be through us made known.
Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song.”

During the season of Lent we will be using the chorus of the song “Let it Be Said of Us” by Steve Fry as our benediction response.


Categories: Notes on the Notes