Notes on the Notes – June 9, 2013
Today’s Theme: Picnic Sunday/Contemporary Service
Elijah and the widow, Galatians 1:13-16, 23-24
“How Great is Our God” – “How does one describe something he’s never seen with the naked eye? Or, how would you paint a picture of an invisible person? Chris Tomlin doesn’t try to make it too complicated for us with his song “How Great Is Our God”, his way of answering someone who says ‘what’s God look like?’. What he says about this song’s development suggests that just maybe that’s the way God wants it. Just celebrate Him, and that’s enough. Almost sounds too easy, and that was kinda how Tomlin thought about it too, at first. Tomlin recalls that the song’s development began with the chorus section ‘how great is our God…’ , and that that’s all he was able to come up with initially. He says he almost felt regret when he said to Him in effect ‘…this is all I have Lord, there’s no other words I can summon in the English language to describe how great you are.’ Evidently, Tomlin then offered some other words to go with the chorus, but he says the refrain became the focus of the song, after he took to heart some comments by friends. As a result, he says the song’s spotlight shone more brightly on the Holy One’s nature, versus what it was originally when Tomlin focused more on what we as Christians get from Him. Light, majesty, a creature that’s both lion and lamb, and a three-in-one concept none of us can honestly fathom…those are mysterious words that Tomlin uses to try to capture God’s visage. Think of a brilliant light hidden in a cloud. Still, the song’s simple yet potent declaration of God’s supremacy is the overriding message.”
“The River is Here” – In 1994 Andy Park received a song idea from someone, although he didn’t know that’s what it was at first. Here’s what he says, in his own words:
‘This song began when I received a picture in my mind’s eye of a mountain with a river running down it. I prayed about it, not realizing that it was a word from God to prompt a new song. I did a word study in the Bible for “mountain” and “river” and found imagery in Ezekiel, the Psalms and the book of Revelation which provided the basis for the song. While on a brief personal retreat I wrote the song.’
Hear Andy Park sing this song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-kZrp8552A
“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.”
This song by Australian Catholic composers Trisha Watts and Monica O’Brien, was written in 1998. Trisha Watts is known internationally as a singer, songwriter and teacher and as a powerful catalyst for groups wishing to release their creative voice and spiritual heritage. With over 25 years experience in the music industry as a composer, performer, recording artist, secondary music and drama teacher, youth worker and workshop animator, she now travels throughout Australia and the world leading singing workshops, spirituality days, retreats and creative community events. In 1978 Trisha founded Willow Music with friend Monica O’Brien, with an aim to provide quality music and support to young musicians. From 1985 – 2000 Trish co-directed Willow Connection with Monica, as the face of a new Australian publishing and distribution company emerged, serving churches, schools and bookshops in Australia and overseas. With eight published collections of original work, her musical style spans from contemporary rock to meditational.
“Spirit of Life” (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.”
Carolyn McDade is a lover of language and sound. A writer of sound, she is committed to the power of the human voice singing and speaking truth to move society to just and liberating transformation. Through song and singing she helps us deepen human consciousness and understand ourselves as part of a living planet. A social activist, she weaves together the spiritual and the political – integrating personal, social, planetary, cosmic. She describes herself simply as a woman of faith seeking with others to touch what matters.
“Blessed to be a Blessing” – This song by Michael Schmid reminds us of the many ways that we have been richly blessed by God. Having been so blessed we are called to be a blessing to others, shining forth God’s life in our lives. This song was written for St. John’s Lutheran School in Napa, California as the school’s theme song for the 2001-2002 school year.
“Blessed to be a blessing. Blessed to live your love. Blessed to share with others every blessing from above. Blessed to walk in mercy. Blessed to light the way. Oh, blessed to be a blessing every day.”
“Grateful” (MV #182) –
“Grateful for the life you give us, thankful for your Holy Son, joyful in your Spirit flowing over all, O God of Love. Grateful for the Bread of Heaven, thankful for your Holy Word, joyful in your mercy flowing, we will praise you.”
This song of thankfulness is by Tom Tomaszek (2003), author, composer, educator and liturgical musician. His ministry began with teaching English at a public high school while serving as a parish musician and catechist. Those experiences led to 14 years of service to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s youth ministry office. Later, Tom served as the director of the Artists and Repertoire at OCP. He holds a master’s in theological studies from St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, and a master’s in education from the University of Wisconsin.
“Go Make a Difference (MV #209) – This lively song enthusiastically commissions us to make a difference in the world. It was written by Steve Angrisano and Tom Tomaszek in 1997.
Watch Steve Angrisano singing the song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQJ4TLRy1KI