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Notes on the Notes – February 9, 2020

“We are the Light”

Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)                Matthew 5:13-20

Throughout the season of Epiphany, we have been following a journey of the light.  Jesus came as the Light of the World and the wise men followed the light of a star.  We have heard from the prophet Isaiah, saying, “Arise, your light has come.”    As Jesus started his ministry and gathered his disciples, he spoke about what it would mean to be a follower and how that commitment would require change and action.  This week’s gospel reading is a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus speaks of his followers needing to be the salt and light in the world.   He speaks of the need for followers to be out in the world spreading the light, not hiding it away where no-one can see it.

This week’s music:

Hear Our Praises”

“May our homes be filled with dancing, may our streets be filled with joy
May injustice bow to Jesus as the people turn to pray

From the mountains to the valleysice-sunrise
Hear our praises rise to You
From the heavens to the nations
Hear our singing fill the air

May Your light shine in the darkness as we walk before the cross
May Your glory fill the whole earth as the water o’er the seas

From the mountains to the valleys
Hear our praises rise to You
From the heavens to the nations
Hear our singing fill the air”

Our opening song is a song of praise from all Creation.  It was written by Reuben Morgan, a Worship Pastor at Hillsong Church London.

Hear the song at:  https://youtu.be/c94kMA5IgKo

Lord Prepare Me” (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

Shine, Jesus, Shine”     

“Lord, the Light of Your Love is shining,
In the midst of the darkness shining,
Jesus, light of the world, shine upon us,
Set us free by the truth You now bring us,
Shine on me. Shine on me.

Shine, Jesus, shine,
Fill this land with the Father’s glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze,
Set our hearts on fire.2-shine-jesus-shine
Flow, river, flow,
Flood the nations with grace and mercy.
Send forth Your word, Lord,
And let there be light.

Lord, I come to Your awesome presence,
From the shadows into Your radiance;
By the blood I may enter Your brightness;
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness,
Shine on me. Shine on me.

Shine, Jesus, shine…

As we gaze on Your kingly brightness
So our faces display Your likeness.
Ever changing from glory to glory,
Mirrored here may our lives tell Your story.
Shine on me. Shine on me.

Shine, Jesus, shine…”

This popular praise & worship song was written by Graham Kendrick in 1987.  The lyrics remind us that Jesus is the light of the world and are a invocation that the light of Christ shine on us and through us.   The last verse references Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain.

See Graham Kendrick performing this song at:  https://youtu.be/QGmT4Gsh8CU

We are Called”

“Come! Live in the light!
Shine with the joy and the love of the Lord!
We are called to be light for the kingdom,
To live in the freedom of the city of God.
Come! Open your heart!
Show your mercy to all those in fear!
We are called to be hope for the hopeless
So hatred and blindness will be no more.

Sing! Sing a new song!
Sing of that great day when all will be one!
God will reign, and we’ll walk with each other
As sisters and brothers united in love.

We are called to act with justice,Micah 8
We are called to love tenderly;
We are called to serve one another,
To walk humbly with God.”

This song, based on the reading from Micah which we heard last week, was written by David Haas in 1988.  Each of the three stanzas exhorts the singer with an imperative verb: “Come! Live in the light!” “Come! Open your heart!” “Sing! Sing a new song!”  The song urges us to action. The action here is inspired by Micah 6:8: “. . . what the Lord really wants from you: He wants you to promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God” (NET).(Source:  Discipleship Ministries – The United Methodist Church)

See the University of Notre Dame Folk Choir sing the song in worship at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgomtIc1_yc

“Go Light Your World”

“There is a candle in every soul
Some brightly burning, some dark and cold
There is a Spirit who brings a fire
Ignites a candle and makes His home

So carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your worldLight

Frustrated brother, see how he’s tried to
Light his own candle some other way
See now your sister, she’s been robbed and lied to
Still holds a candle without a flame

So Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the lonely, the tired and worn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world

Cause We are a family whose hearts are blazing
So let’s raise our candles and light up the sky
Praying to our Father, in the name of Jesus
Make us a beacon in darkest times..”

This song was written by Chris Rice in 1995 and recorded by Kathy Troccoli.   In 2004, Chris Rice also recorded the song.  The lyrics illustrate the reading from Matthew 5:14-16.

“The message is clear, but the call us difficult.
“Run to the darkness.”
Very often, as followers of Jesus, we think that God wants us to stay away from places that are filled with hopelessness.
Yet, if we are to be bearers of the hope of Christ, it does us no good to remain only among the hopeful.

A friend was working in a house where all the electricity had been turned off. He wanted to clean out the entire house, but the basement was a challenge. He could not see the dangers of the room or the items that needed to be removed. It was only when light was brought into that dark space that his work could be completed.

As bearers of God’s promise and God’s hope, we must run toward those places where hope is missing. That may mean to go to Houston in January, or Mexico next summer, or Kensington one Saturday, or a nursing home on a Sunday afternoon.

And as we run toward the darkness, we are seeking “the helpless, confused and torn”. These are the people who are ignored by many, the people who need a special touch of Jesus, the people who slip through the cracks. Perhaps it is the immigrant family who feels isolated. Or the new neighbour who needs encouragement. Or the single mother who is overwhelmed. Each of these need the hope that Jesus can bring.” 
(Source:  http://hatborobaptist.org/you-are-the-light-of-the-world/)

We Are”

“Every secret, every shame
Every fear and every pain
They live inside the dark
But that’s not who we are
We are Children of the Day

So Wake up sleeper, lift your head
We were meant for more than this
Fight the shadows, conquer death
Make the most of the time we have left

We are the Light of the WorldWe are the light
We are a City on a Hill
We are the Light of the world
and we gotta, we gotta, we gotta
Let the light shine

We are called to spread the news
To tell the world this simple truth
That Jesus came to save, There’s freedom in His name
So let His love break through

Let your light shine, Let Your light shine…”

Kari Jobe wrote this song in 2012.  The lyrics continue our theme of being a light in the world.  In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus spoke to his followers about being like a “city on a hill,”  not hidden, but seen, and a shining example to others.

“Go, Make a Difference” (MV #209)

“Go make a difference.
We can make a difference.
Go make a difference in the world.

We are the salt of the earth, called to let the people see
the love of God for you and me.  

We are the light of the world,
not to be hidden but be seen.
Go make a difference in the world.

We are the hands of Christ reaching out to those in need,
the face of God for all to see.
We are the spirit of hope;  we are the voice of peace.

Go make a difference in the world.

go_make_difference200So let your love shine on, let it shine for all to see.
Go make a difference in the world.
And the spirit of Christ will be with us as we go.
Go make a difference in the world.”

This lively song sends us out to carry our faith into the world.  The first verse is a direct reference to this week’s reading from Matthew.  The song was written by Steve Angrisano and Tom Tomaszek in 1997.

See Steve Angrisano sing the song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQJ4TLRy1KI

We are Marching” (VU #646)

“We are marching in the light of God…”

The words for our final song are a translation of the Zulu, “Siyahamba.”  The song was a South African hymn that became popular as a protest song during the Apartheid era.  The words are also a commitment to living in the light, love and power of God.

See the song sung by Chicago Children’s Choir and Children of Uganda at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLMBAF4lHGA


To ponder:  

Where do you feel called to be a light in the world?

Categories: Notes on the Notes