Notes on the Notes – January 19, 2014
This week’s theme: Will I hear the call?
This week’s readings: Isaiah 49:1-7, John 1:29-42
Leadership will be provided by Patrick and the Praise Team
This week’s music:
“Lord, Prepare Me to Be a Sanctuary” (MV #18)
This song of preparation for prayer was written by John W. Thompson and Randy Scruggs in 1982. The lyrics of “Sanctuary” are a simple request for God to purify oneself. In addition to calling on God, it is implied that one must take some step to be purified. The end result is that a person will be a living sanctuary for God. This powerful song has impacted people for over thirty years, and it is sure to continue on this path for years to come.
To listen to this song go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LiTy7ndOzw
“Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart” (VU #378)
“Spirit of God, descend upon my heart: wean it from earth, thro’ all its pulses move; stoop to my weakness, strength to me impart, and make me love you as I ought to love…
Teach me to love you as your angels love, one holy passion filling all my frame, the baptism of the heaven-descended dove, my heart an altar and your love the flame.”
George Croly, an Anglican minister from Dublin, went to London as a young man to serve a small congregation. After serving there for twenty-five years, he was asked to re-open Saint Stephens Church in one of London’s worst slums. He did so, and soon began attracting large crowds. He had a powerful ministry in the slums for more than two decades.
While working in the slums, Croly wrote the hymn, “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart.” The hymn is a prayer for God to change us — to change us from the inside out — to teach us how to love God as we ought to love — to allow us to seek God and to find him — and to teach us to love as the angels love.
During the twenty years that he served in the heart of the slums, Croly saw many lives redeemed. This hymn reflects his conviction that redemption is an inside job — that it begins not when our surroundings change but when God changes our heart.
The tune, originally called HELLESPONT, was composed as a setting for “Abide with Me.” The name was changed to MORECAMBE in The Congregational Church Hymnal (1887).
Hear the hymn sung to slightly different words at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymKxTkrRNBA
“Spirit of Life, Come Unto Me” (VU #381)
“Spirit of Life, come unto me. Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion. Blow in the wind, rise in the sea; move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice. Roots hold me close; wings set me free; Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me.”
This sung prayer is by Carolyn McDade and was written in 1981. It was arranged by Grace Lewis-McLaren and published in 1993.
Hear a choral arrangement of the song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XM-MHSKBL4g
“Gathered in Love” – This preparation and response to prayer is written by Sr. Suzanne Toolan and first published in Canticles and Gathering Prayers (1979).
“You are the One who gathers us, loving compassionate God.”
“Jesus is the Light of the World, He is the Light of the World and we will follow Him…
When there is trouble, no need to go astray, He will shine, yes, He will shine. Jesus will help you find your way. Take His hand, let Him lead. When you follow Jesus He will set you free. Keep Him in your life and let Him shine!”
This energetic song by Don Besig and Nancy Price reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world and encourages us to always put our trust in Him. It was written in 1996.
“Lead Us Out”
Lead us up. We want to know You better. Lead us up. Fill our hearts and make us more like You. Lead us up. Ever growing closer. Oh lead us up into You, Lord.
Lead us in. We want to love like You do. Lead us in. Make of us one body in Your love. Lead us in. Loving one another. Oh lead us in Your love, O Lord.
Lead us out. We want to be a blessing. Lead us out into the world You gave Your life to save. Lead us out to tell them all about You. Oh lead us out into Your world.
Lead us up, lead us in, lead us out into Your world. Lead us now, and we’ll follow you today. Lead us onward by Your grace, until we see Your face. Lead us out into Your world.”
This song, by Michael A. Schmid, was written in 2008. The song was written for the new vision statement of the congregation he serves, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Napa, CA. The three parts of the Vision (Lead us up, lead us in, lead us out) refer to God’s call to be in growing relationships with God, with other followers of Jesus, and with he world that we’re trying to reach. Of ultimate importance is God’s mission through the church. In that sense, He leads us up and in so that He might lead us out.
“Step by Step”
“O 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.”
This contemporary praise chorus was written in 1991 by Beaker -a pseudonym for David Strasser, a Christian songwriter and musician well known for his collaborations with artist Rich Mullins. When Beaker was in the seventh grade, his youth pastor introduced him to his friend Rich Mullins, and the two soon became collaborators. Beaker co-wrote, performed, and toured with Mullins for several years. In the mid-90s, Beaker dropped out of the spotlight to focus on family life. Rich Mullins incorporated “Step by Step” into his song “Sometimes by Step.” In 2002, “Step by Step” was recorded by Michael W. Smith and retains its popularity to this day.
To hear Rich Mullins sing the song go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF2pSvB-ztI
To see Rich Mullins sing the song “Sometimes by Step” go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2KOCgC8DnU (song starts at 3:33)
To see Michael W. Smith performing his version of the song (Step by Step/Forever We Will Sing) in concert go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IInmRBpJhGo