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Notes on the Notes – January 26, 2014

This week’s theme:  Choosing Sides…for Life – Why Belief Matters

This week’s readings:  Psalm 27:1, 4-9,  Matthew 4:12, 17-22

This week’s music:

“Jesus Loves Me” (VU #365)

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to him belong, in his love we shall be strong. 

Yes, Jesus loves me!  Yes, Jesus loves me!  Yes, Jesus loves me!  The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me, this I know, as he loved so long ago, taking children on his knee, saying, “Let them come to me.” 

Jesus loves me still today, walking with me on my way, wanting as a friend to give light and love to all who live.”

 This popular song has been loved among children and adults alike since it was written in 1860. Anna B. Warner wrote the original version and later David Rutherford McGuire added stanzas two and three. Anna’s sister Susan had asked her to write a song for a Sunday School teacher who wanted to cheer a dying boy.  The song first appeared in a novel, Say and Seal. In 1862, William B. Bradbury composed the music and added the refrain. The original version had more verses than the three commonly used today.  Following are the original lyrics to the song, “Jesus Loves Me:”

“Jesus loves me! This I know, For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong;  They are weak, but He is strong.
 
Refrain: “Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.
 
“Jesus loves me! This I know,  As He loved so long ago, Taking children on His knee, Saying, ‘Let them come to Me.’
 
“Jesus loves me still today, Walking with me on my way, Wanting as a friend to give Light and love to all who live.
 
“Jesus loves me! He who died Heaven’s gate to open wide; He will wash away my sin,  Let His little child come in.
 
“Jesus loves me! He will stay Close beside me all the way; Thou hast bled and died for me, I will henceforth live for Thee.
 
“Jesus loves me! Loves me still, Though I’m very weak and ill, That I might from sin be free Bled and died upon the tree.”

 

See the Gaithers singing this song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQVOld9XFkM

“Bathe Me in Your Light” (MV #82)

“Bathe me in your light, O God of All, Creator;  let it shine upon my soul with healing and with grace.  Be to me a beacon bright through shadows of life’s wounding, showing me the way to live in faith, in your embrace.

Bathe me in your love, O Source of Awe and Wonder; help me walk the sacred path of harmony and peace.  May I be attentive to the musings of your presence, drinking from the well of hope that brings the heart release.

Bathe me in your grace, O One of Spirit’s longing;  teach me of your gentle ways that fill the soul with strength.  Guide me on the pilgrimage that leads to truth and wholeness.  Fill me with your promise of a love that knows no length.”

The text of this new hymn was written by John Oldham in 2002.  John served as a United Church minister for many years in Manitoba, including 14 years at Donnelly United Church in Winnipeg.  John and his spouse Marlene live in Winnipeg, Manitoba where they enjoy being close to family.

The music is by Canadian composer Ron Klusmeier.  Ron lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. He composes, arranges, and edits new music for worship and serves as a resource consultant for churches throughout Canada and the U.S. Ron provides leadership at churches, conferences, and special events throughout North America each year.  He has worked in music and arts as a full-time ministry since 1971 as a composer, editor, and arranger. Ron’s freelance work includes leading workshops, seminars, concerts, and worship celebrations. He has worked with nearly 2,000 churches in every Canadian province and almost every U.S. state.

“Will You Come and Follow Me” (VU #567)

 “Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?  Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?  Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be know, will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?…

This hymn, also known as “The Summons” was written by John Bell of the Iona Community.  The first four verses contain the questions that Jesus poses to us – 1.  Will you come and follow me?… 2. Will you leave yourself behind?…  3.  Will you let the blinded see?…  4.  Will you love the “you” you hide?…  The final verse is our answer to Him:

“Christ, your summons echoes true when you but call my name.  Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.  In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.  Thus I’ll move and live and grown in you and you in me.”

The tune is the traditional Scottish tune KELINGROVE.  Hear it sung by Robert Kochis at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0aAkOe87mo

 “I’ll Sing Praise” 

 “In you, O Lord, I’ve found a home.  I delight in your presence each day.  My heart overflows with thanksgiving.  Your faithfulness I will proclaim.

And I will sing of a love everlasting, I will sing of a hope born in grace.  I’ll sing of a joy that refreshes my soul.  With all that I am, I’ll sing praise.

As a tree that is rooted in fertile ground, so the truth of your word keeps me strong.  When I meet trouble, or face death itself, nothing will silence my song.”

This week’s anthem was written in 2002 by Grace Allison in memory of Wilma Tait.  Grace Allison is a Canadian composer and piano teacher in Prince Edward Island.

“You Shall Be the Path”

“You shall be the path that guides us, You the light that in us burns;

Shining deep within all people, Yours the love that we must learn.

Gentle Father, loving Mother, Jesus:  brother, savior, friend;

Spirit of all grace and power, may we praise you without end.”

The words for our offering response are taken from the hymn “God of Day and God of Darkness” by Marty Haugen.   It is sung to the familiar tune BEACH SPRING.

 “Three Things I Promise” (MV #176)

“Three things I promise, Holy God, in age and youth, in life and death:  to bless your Name, and cling to Christ, and listen for the Spirit’s breath.

Your love unfolded time and space, and life, and all that life became, and so, with thankful heart and voice, through good and ill, I bless your Name.

I follow, serve, and cling to Christ amid our culture’s tides and trends, for here your Name is most revealed:  Majestic Love, and Best of Friends.

Enlivened as the Spirit moves to cleanse, awaken, and renew, I pray that justice, peace, and truth, may seed and grow in all I do.

If I should live when vigour fades, and family and friends are gone, three acts of loving faith remain when days are slow, and work is done.

Revive and guide me, Living God, as day by day, until my death, I bless your Name, and cling to Christ, and listen for the Spirit’s breath.”

The above text is by eminent hymn poet and hymnologist Brian Wren (1997).  Wren, born in England and ordained in the Congregational Church, now lives in the United States with partner Rev. Susan Heafield, a United Methodist Pastor and composer. He has written several books related to hymnology, including “What Language Shall I Borrow,” which explores the range of imagery that can be brought to hymnody. This Wren text is strongly trinitarian in theme and structure. The tune, BLANN, is by Dan Damon, an internationally published writer of hymn texts and tunes. He is pastor of First United Methodist Church, Richmond, California.  (source:  Trinity St. Paul’s United Church hymn blog – May 30, 2010)

 “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”

“I have decided to follow Jesus…no turning back, no turning back.

This week we will be using the first verse of this hymn of commitment as our benediction response.  The hymn originated in India.  The lyrics are based on the last words of a man in Assam, north-east India, who along with his family was converted to Christianity in the middle of the 19th century through the efforts of a Welsh missionary. Called to renounce his faith by the village chief, the convert declared, “I have decided to follow Jesus.”    The formation of these words into a hymn is attributed to the Indian missionary Sadhu Sundar Singh.  The melody is also Indian, and entitled “ASSAM” after the region where the text originated.    

 

 

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