Notes on the Notes – February 3, 2013
Readings: Jeremiah 1:4-10, Luke 4:21-30
This week’s music:
“The Greatest of These” – This song, by Canadian composer Linnea Good, quotes from 1 Corinthians 13:1-12. The song was used at the Burnaby Centennial Interfaith Celebration in 1992. When speaking about this gathering, Linnea says, “Through a glass darkly; through a mirror dimly…Whether we are looking at the convolutions of the world outside or the percolations of the world inside, it is good to know that God’s creation is not locked into the confine of human imagination and perception! ” In referencing this song, Linnea also shares the following story about Winnipeger, Karen Ridd: “Karen Ridd clowned her way from the United Church to El Salvador, to work with refugees fleeing the bombing of their homes by the military. As a member of Peace Brigades, she became part of an ancient tradition of offering sanctuary in the house of God. One night, she and her Combian co-worker were apprehended by the military and taken to be interrogated about their work. Told that they would be taken to ‘el puerto del diablo’ or the current body-dump, they were spirited away to a prison and questioned. When they finally told Karen that she could leave, it was without her co-worker. Karen said she wouldn’t leave without her. Her response left her interrogators baffled, and they reminded her that this would mean that the blindfold would go back on her. ‘But, you know how it is,’ she said. ‘When you have a buddy who’s in trouble, you can’t leave them.’ They eventually found themselves out on the early morning sidewalk. I still wonder what experiences I will have to look death straight in the eye and answer it as if it still held the possibility of life.” To learn more about Karen Ridd, go to http://www.mscollege.ca/personnel_ridd.html
“Open My Eyes” (VU #371) – Clara H. Scott composed songs, anthems and piano music. This piece was first published in 1895. C. Michael Hawn says, “Clara H. Scott (1841-1897) provides us with a hymn of consecration that has been sung for over 100 years. A Midwesterner, she was born in Illinois and died in Iowa…She married Henry Clay Scott in 1861, and published in 1882 the Royal Anthem Book, the first volume of choir anthems published by a woman… Three collections were issued before her untimely death, when a runaway horse caused a buggy accident in Dubuque, Iowa. The text of “Open My Eyes” was written in 1895 shortly before Scott’s death. Each stanza reveals an increasing receptiveness to the “Spirit divine.” Open eyes lead to “glimpses of truth.” Open ears lead to “voices of truth.” An open mouth leads to sharing the “warm truth everywhere.” An open heart leads to sharing “love to thy children.” To read more about this hymn go to: http://umportal.org/article.asp?id=1888
“When at This Table” – (MV # 199) – This hymn is written by Shirley Erena Murray, from her book Touch the Earth Lightly. She says, “This is a hymn of approach to communion. I am trying to evoke the reasons why we come to the table, and a feeling of more than our personal needs, however compelling, so that the table opens up to the needs of the world around us.”
“When Hands Reach Out Beyond Divides” – (MV #169) – Keri Wehlander is an author, hymn lyricist, liturgical dancer and leader of retreats and workshops. Spirituality and the arts provide a primary focus for her work in various settings in both her native Canada and the U.S. The lyrics for this hymn of unity and peace are:
When hands reach out beyond divides and hope is truly found,
Each chain of hate will fall away and bells of peace shall sound.
When fear no longer guides our steps and days of war are done,
God’s dream for all shall live anew; our hearts will heal as one.
When race and creed blind us no more, a neighbour’s face we’ll see,
And we shall dance the whole world round, for love will set us free.
The tune, SALEM, is from the 1854 edition of Southern Harmony.