Windsor Park United Church

Notes on the Notes – March 3, 2019

Transfiguration Sunday

– Changed by Hope

This week’s scripture readings:

2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2           Luke 9:28-36, (37-43)

This week’s music:

“Jesus Bids Us Shine” (VU #585)

Jesus bids us shine with a pure, clear light,
Like a little candle burning in the night.
In this world is darkness, so let us shine,shine logo -800
You in your small corner, and I in mine.

Jesus bids us shine first of all for him;
Well he sees and knows it if our light grows dim:
Jesus walks beside us to help us shine,
You in your small corner, and I in mine.

Jesus bids us shine, then, for all around,
Many kinds of darkness in the world are found:
Sin, and want and sorrow; so we must shine,
You in your small corner, and I in mine.”

This hymn, by American novelist Susan Warner, was first published in 1868 in a children’s magazine titled The Little Corporal.  An interesting side note is that the author’s younger sister, Anna Barlett wrote the hymn “Jesus Loves Me.”   The tune was written by Edwin O. Excell, an American composer of gospel hymns.

“O Splendour of God’s Glory Bright” (VU #413)

“O splendour of God’s glory bright, from light eternal bringing light;
O light of life, light’s living spring, true day, all days illumining;

Come, Holy Sun of heavenly love, pour down your radiance from above,
And to our inward hearts convey the Holy Spirit’s cloudless ray.

O joyful be the passing day with thoughts as clear as morning’s ray,
With faith like noon-tide shining bright, our souls unshadowed by the night.

O Christ, with each returning morn your image to our hearts is born;
O may we ever see anew our Saviour and our God in you!”

The text of this hymn comes from “Splendor Paternae Gloriae,” a hymn by Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (ca 174), who encouraged the development of hymn singing in the Western Church, having heard hymns sung in Eastern Orthodox churches during his travels in Greece. The translation is based on the work of John Chandler in Hymns of the Primitive Church (1837).   The words reference both God and Jesus as being sources of divine light.  Through the hymn, we are asking to be bathed in the divine light as we live our every day life.   The tune, PUER NOBIS NASCITUR, is from a 15th-century Tier manuscript.  It may be familiar as the tune for the hymn “A Little Child the Saviour Came” (VU #445).

Hear the tune on the organ at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wu-1qlh7YFU

“We Have Come at Christ’s Own Bidding” (VU #104)

“We have come at Christ’s own bidding to this high and holy place,
Where we wait with hope and longing for some token of God’s grace.
Here we pray for new assurance that our faith is not in vain,
Searching like those first disciples for a sign both clear and plain.

Light breaks in upon our darkness; splendour bathes the flesh-joined Word;
Moses and Elijah marvel as the heavenly voice is heard.Transfiguration
Eyes and hearts behold with wonder how the Law and Prophets meet:
Christ, with garments drenched in brightness, stands transfigured and complete.

Strengthened by this glimpse of glory, fearful lest our faith decline,
We like Peter find it tempting to remain and build a shrine.
But true worship gives us courage to proclaim what we profess,
That our daily lives may prove us people of the God we bless.”

This transfiguration hymn is by Carl P. Daw, Jr. (1988).  In his commentary on the text, Daw discusses the “implicit comparison between the attitudes and assumptions of the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration and the expectations of present-day Christians as they gather for worship.”  The tune, ABBOT’S LEIGH, which was composed by British hymnologist Cyril Vincent Taylor in 1941.

“Shine On, Great Saviour”

“He called us up to the mountain.
We followed the Master’s call.
And we were changed forever by the glorious things we saw.
There came a light on the mountain,

His face shone like the sun,transfiguration
And His robe was white with the glorious light,
The light of the Holy One.

Now shine on, great Saviour.
Come and make this a holy place.
Shine on, great Saviour,
And show us your power and grace.

There came Elijah, great prophet,
There was Moses, great man of law.
And there stood the great Messiah,
Who shone the brightest of all.
A bright cloud overwhelmed them.
From the cloud, a voice was heard,
“This is My Son, My Chosen One,
Now listen to His every word.”

I remember that day on the mountain as I live in this valley below.
And through all my days of darkness,
There’s one thing that I know.
There was glory on the mountain.
What wonder did I see!
And the glory on the mountain will forever be living in me.”

This Appalachian-flavored song retelling the Transfiguration story is by composer Pepper Choplin and comes from the cantata “Come, Touch the Robe” which was published in 2009.  The final verse of the song tells about the change in the singer after seeing the Transfiguration – “and the glory on the mountain will forever be living in me.”

“Here, O My Lord, I See You Face to Face” (VU #459)

Horatius Bonar wrote this hymn for a communion service at his brother’s church in Greenock, Scotland.   In it he has written of the assurance of forgiveness that one finds when they gathers with the church for worship.  This hymn is sung to the tune,  ST. AGNES (LANGRAN).

“Here, O my Lord, I see you face to face;
Here would I touch and handle things unseen,
Here grasp with firmer hand th’eternal grace,
And all my weariness upon you lean.

Here would I feed upon the bread of God,
Here drink with you the royal wine of heav’n;
Here would I lay aside each earthly load,
Here taste afresh the calm of sin forgiven.

This is the hour of banquet and of song;
This is the heav’nly table for me spread:
Here let me feast, and, feasting, still prolong
The fellowship of living wine and bread.

Too soon we rise, the symbols disappear.
The feat, though not the love, is past and gone;
The bread and wine remove, but you are here,
Nearer than ever, still my shield and sun.

Feast after feast thus comes and passes by,
Yet, passing, points to that glad feast above,
Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy,
The Lamb’s great bridal feast of bliss and love.”

To learn more about this hymn, visit http://www.gbod.org/lead-your-church/history-of-hymns/resource/history-of-hymns-here-o-my-lord-i-see-thee

To hear the melody, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIp29uZKmyw

To ponder:

Think of a moment when you felt absolutely radiant.

 Why was this?

Posted in Notes on the Notes on March 2, 2019.