Windsor Park United Church

Notes on the Notes – July 28, 2019

Welcome!

Join us this week we take a closer look at 

Revelation 21:1-27

Service time is 10:30 a.m. at Windsor Park United, 1062 Autumnwood Drive.

This week’s music:

“Songs of Praise the Angels Sang” (VU #254)

“Songs of praise the angels sang,
Heaven with hallelujahs rang,
When creation was begun, when God spoke and it was done.

Songs of praise awoke the morn when the Prince of Peace was born;
Songs of praise arose when he captive led captivity.

Heaven and earth must pass away, songs of praise shall crown that day;
God will make new heavens and earth, songs of praise shall hail their birth.

And will people silent be till that glorious day they see?
No, the church delights to raise psalms and hymns and songs of praise.

Saints below with heart and voice, still in songs of praise rejoice;
Learning hear, by faith and love, songs of praise to sing above.

Hymns of glory, songs of praise, blessed God, to you we raise.
Jesus, Saviour, Living Word, with the Spirit be adored.”

This hymn was written by James Montgomery (1819), a Moravian who was instrumental in the development and acceptance of hymn-singing in the Anglican Church.  The words follow the timeline from Creation, through the life and work of Jesus, to the promise of a new heaven and new earth as told in the Book of Revelation, encouraging all to praise God through all time, forevermore.

“O Holy City, Seen of John” (VU #709)

“O holy city, seen of John, where Christ, the Lamb, doth reign,
Within whose foursquare walls shall come no night, nor need, nor pain,
And where the tears are wiped from eyes that shall not weep again!

Hark, now from men whose lives are held more cheap than merchandise,
From women struggling sore for bread, from little children’s cries,
There swells the sobbing human plaint that bids thy walls arise.

O shame on us who rest content while lust and greed forgian
In street and shop and tenement wring gold from human pain,
And bitter lips in blind despair cry, “Christ hath died in vain!”

Give us, O God, the strength to build the city that hath stood
To long a dream, whose laws are love, whose ways are brotherhood,
And where the sun that shineth is God’s grace for human good.

Already in the mind of God that city riseth fair.
Lo, how its splendour challenges the souls that greatly dare,
Yea, bids us seize the whole of life and build its glory there!

The theme of this hymn, based on Revelation 21:2-22:5, is the preparation in the present life for the future Kingdom of God.  It was written by Walter Russell Bowie in 1909.  The tune, MORNING SONG, is an American folk hymn.

“I See a New Heaven” (VU #713)

“I see a new heaven, I see a new earth as the old one will pass away,
Where the fountain of life flows and without price goes to all people who abide in the land.

There, there on the banks of a river bright and free,
Yielding her fruit, firm in her root,
The Tree of Life will be.

There, there where death dies and our lives are born again,new heaven
Body and soul, struggling but whole
Life flowers after the rain.

There, there where the darkness brings visions from above.
There where the night, bearing new light,
Reveals the promise of love.

There, there where we work with the love of healing hands.
Labour we must, true to our trust
To build a promised new land.”

The text of this hymn by Carolyn McDade is based on Revelation 21. It was written in 1979.

See the song sung in worship at Strathroy United Church at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzVejfBb3SA

“Shall We Gather at the River”

“Shall we gather at the river, where bright angel feet have trod;
With its crystal tide forever flowing by the throne of God?

Soon we’ll reach the shining river, soon our pilgrimage will cease,
Soon our happy hearts will quiver with the melody of peace.

Yes, we’ll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river that flows by the throne of God.”

Robert Lowry wrote this hymn one hot July afternoon in 1864 in the midst of an epidemic which was claiming many lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.  His thoughts turned to the description of the river of life in Revelations 22:1-5, and from there the words and music of the hymn took shape.

“O God, You Gave Your Servant John” (VU #718)

“O God, you gave your servant John a vision of the world to come:
A radiant city filled with light, where you with us will make your home,
Where neither grief nor pain shall dwell, since former things have passed away,
And where they need no sun nor moon, Your glory lights eternal day.

Our cities wear great shrouds of pain, beneath our gleaming towers of wealth
The homeless crouch in rain and snow, the poor cry out for strength and health.
Youth’s hope is dimmed by ignorance; unwilling, workers idled stand,
Indifference walks unheeding by as hunger stretches out its hand.

Come, Lord, make real John’s vision fair; come, dwell with us, make all things new;
We try in vain to save our world unless our help shall come from you.
Come, strengthen us to live in love; bid hatred, greed, injustice cease.
Your glory all the light we need, let all our cities shine forth peace.”

This hymn, written in 1988 by Joy Patterson, speaks of the suffering created in city life by human indifference. She refers to the new heaven and new earth seen by John, which is written about in the Book of Revelation, and entreats God to give us the strength to work toward that kingdom on earth. The tune is an arrangement by Carlton R. Young of the Scottish folk song “Ye banks and braes o’ Bonnie Doon.”

Hear the melody on hammered dulcimer at: https://youtu.be/_OULTaFB7LE?list=PLKt1cT-e2prOiuL2FRnj3FUcll_sOam52

Posted in Notes on the Notes on July 27, 2019.