Notes on the Notes – January 28, 2018
This Week’s Theme:
To Truly Listen
This Week’s Scripture Readings:
Deuteronomy 18:15-20 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
This Week’s Music:
For the past two weeks we have been exploring what it means to hear God’s call through the call of Samuel and the calling of the disciples by Jesus. This week we will continue to consider how we hear God’s voice in our own lives and our response to that call.
“A Voice is Heard”
“Come, let us praise our God, come let us sing for joy, with a heart of thanks we give honour.
You are a mighty God, you are the source of life. Creator God, we give praise.
From the deepest seas (a voice is heard).
From the highest hills (a voice is heard).
From the rich dark earth (a voice is heard).
All creation sings! God is heard.
Through the darkest night (a voice is heard).
Through the breaking dawn (a voice is heard).
Through the heart of life (a voice is heard).
All creation sings! God is heard.”
This joyful songs expresses our belief that God’s voice is everywhere and, as a part of Creation, we too, can hear God’s voice. Whether or not we can hear it depends on if we are listening for it. This song by Australian Catholic composers Trisha Watts and Monica O’Brien, was written in 1998.
“Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord.
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord.
Our God, You reign forever. Our Hope, our strong Deliverer.
You are the everlasting God, the everlasting God.
You do not faint, You won’t grow weary.
You’re the defender of the weak, You comfort those in need,
You lift us up on wings like eagles.”
This song was written by Brenton Brown and Ken Riley in 2005. It is based on Isaiah 40. Through the words we are assured that, as we wait for God’s voice, we know that God is everlasting and gives strength to all who call upon him.
Hear Brenton Brown talk about writing the song at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZS7cy7OEUYI
Hear the song at: https://youtu.be/nuudVoMyZyE
“Lord, Prepare Me”
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 open to God. 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: https://youtu.be/4LiTy7ndOzw
“Jesus, Draw Me Close”
“Jesus draw me close; closer, Lord, to You. Let the world around me fade away. Jesus, draw me close; closer, Lord, to You. For I desire to worship and obey.”
Rick Founds wrote this song in 1990. When asked about the writing of the song, he said: “You’re not happy when they arrive. They are certainly NOT welcome. The sooner they’re gone, the better. We all have them. No, I’m not talking about the obnoxious relative, or that certain “difficult” person at work, but the trials that seem to invade our lives at the least opportune moment… The bad day… The tough week at work… The year you’d just as soon erase from your life… Or those times of loss, which are annoying at best, and tragic at worst… when you lose your car keys… or your job… or a close friend … or member of the family. It was during one of “those” weeks, that the song, “JESUS DRAW ME CLOSE” was born. The flu was going around, everybody was suffering with it, and I had been blessed with a “double portion”. The car had decided to self-destruct, activities at work were busier than normal, expectations were high, energy and inspiration were low… I was not having a good week. I sat in my office, in an old and ugly, but very comfortable stuffed chair. (a cherished garage sale aquisition.) Nestled in my favorite “reading space”, with Alka-Seltzer fizzing in the glass nearby and my Bible, I picked up where I had left off in the Book of Psalms….Psalm 42
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God? ‘These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God… By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me– a prayer to the God of my life.”
It was perfect. Just what I needed. The Lord, in His quiet and gentle way, was reminding me once again, that in this world of constantly changing circumstances, there is a place in the presence of the unchanging God, where I can go at any time… The profound simplicity of this truth prompted a simple and honest prayer; “JESUS, DRAW ME CLOSE… CLOSER LORD, TO YOU. LET THE WORLD AROUND ME FADE AWAY.” … Picking up my guitar, I put the prayer to an equally simple melody, and concluded with; “….. FOR I DESIRE TO WORSHIP, AND OBEY.”
Listen to Rick Founds sing the song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi9WrG1054k
“There is No One Like Jesus”
“O there is no one like my Jesus,
O there is no one like my Jesus,
O there is no one like my Jesus,
Forever and ever it will be! Sing halleluia!
I’ve walked around and there’s none like Him.
I’ve searched around and there’s non like Him.
I’ve gone around and there’s none like Him.
Forever and ever it will be! Sing halleluia!”
This traditional East African Song is arranged by Joseph M. Martin. It is a popular worship song in Kenya. The words are an assurance that, even after all of our searching and looking, there is truly no one like Jesus.
“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.
This song, based on the reading from Micah, 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).
The first stanza invites us to “Live in the light” of God’s grace and freedom and to reflect that light with “joy and . . . love.” Stanza two, following naturally in the spirit of the first stanza, invites us to “Open our hearts” to “mercy” for all who live in “fear,” “hatred,” and “blindness.” The final stanza invites us to an eschatological vision of the future when “all will be one!” (Source: Discipleship Ministries – The United Methodist Church)
“Lead Me, Lord”
“Lead me, Lord, I will follow.
Lead me, Lord, I will go.
You have called me, I will answer.
Lead me, Lord, I will go.”
This song was written by Wayne and Elizabeth Goodine in 1994. As we come to the end of worship, we once more make our commitment to follow God throughout the coming week.
To learn more about the creation of the song, go to: https://youtu.be/LOd6t4pBEpY