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Notes on the Notes – March 8, 2015 – Lent 3

upsidedownworldThis week’s theme:  Which Way is Up?

This week’s scripture readings: John 2:13-22


1 Corinthians 1:18-25


This week’s music:

“I Saw the Rich Ones” (MV #127)

“I saw the rich ones, I saw what they gave; the widow who offered two pennies she’d saved;
and I saw she was smiling and I knew she was glad;  and I wondered because she gave all that she had…

But with God the world is turned upside down; the poor are embraced and the lost they are found.
Let’s work for a world where all people are free; where it’s good to feel good about God loving you and upside downme.

I saw Zaccheus, a sinner they said, but to his house I saw Jesus go to break bread;
and I knew something special had happened that day when Zaccheus gave half of his riches away…

The men in the vineyards were grumbling one day;  I knew they weren’t happy with what they’d been paid;
for the ones who came later were paid just the same as the workers who greeted the dawn when they came… “

This hymn was written by Pat Mayberry in 2000.  It references three gospel stories where we see God turning the world “upside down.”  They are:  Luke 21:1-4 (the widow’s mite), Luke 19:1-10 (the story of Zaccheus) and Matthew 20:1-16 (the parable of the workers in the vineyard).

“God of the Bible” (MV #28)

“God of the Bible, God in the Gospel, hope seen in Jesus, hope yet to come,
You are our centre, daylight or darkness, freedom or prison, you are our home.

God in our struggles, God in our hunger, suffering with us, taking our part,
Still you empower us, mothering Spirit, feeding, sustaining, from your own heart.

Those without status, those who are nothing, you have made royal, gifted with rights,
Chosen as partners, midwives of justice, birthing new systems, lighting new lights.

Not by your finger, not by your anger will our world order change in a day,
But by your people, fearless and faithful, small paper lanterns, lighting the way.freshasthemorning_light

Hope we must carry, shining and certain through all our turmoil, terror and loss,
Bonding us gladly one to the other, till our world changes facing the Cross.

Fresh as the morning, sure as the sunrise, God always faithful, you do not change.
Fresh as the morning, sure as the sunrise, God always faithful, you do not change.”

This hymn was written by Shirley Erena Murray in 1995 and set to music by Tony E. Alonso in 2001.    The original title was Fresh as the Morning.
Through the hymn Murray emphasizes her confidence in God’s faithfulness and encourages us in our journey to make the world God’s kingdom.

Shirley Erena Murray (b. 1931) is a hymn text writer, born in Invercargill, New Zealand in 1931. Her texts have appeared in more than 100 collections worldwide and have been translated into several languages.  She was honored by the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada at its July 2009 annual conference by being named a Fellow of the Society in recognition of her contributions as a hymn writer to the international community of congregational song. Her hymns have been included in the worship of the World Council of Churches’ Assemblies.

Her hymns and carols address a wide spectrum of themes ranging from the seasons of the Church year to human rights, care of creation, women’s concerns and above all, peace. Methodist by upbringing, and ecumenical by persuasion, she has spent most of her life as a Presbyterian. She is married to a former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of NZ, the Very Rev. John Stewart Murray. They have three sons and six grandchildren, and now live in active retirement at Raumati Beach, near Wellington.

“Beyond the Beauty and the Awe” (MV #80) Tune 899

“Beyond the beauty and the awe, beyond the fear and dread,
We long, O God, to hear your word, to taste your transformed bread.

Our lives feel torn between the world whose needs are grimly real
And empty talk of peace and joy with distant, vague appeal.

Oh, teach us how to hear your voice despite the traffic’s din;
To keep the blasts of rancour out and let your Spirit in.

In sound or silence, sight or smell, may we some token find
That makes your living presence known to body, soul, and mind.

Then help us live as Jesus taught, as light and salt and yeast,
That others may be brought to share your promise and your feast.”

The words of this hymn are by Carl P. Daw Jr. (1994).  The Reverend Dr. Carl P. Daw Jr., is an American Episcopal priest and writer who served as the Executive Director of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada from 1996 to 2009.  Daw’s texts have appeared in most denominational and ecumenical hymnals published in the United States and Canada.

The tune we will be using will be #899 from Voices United, MORNING SONG.  It is an American folk hymn from the 19th-century.

“Only a Shadow”

“The love we have for you, O Lord, is only a shadow of your love for us;
Only a shadow of your love for us, your deep abiding love.

Our own belief in you, O Lord, is only a shadow of your faith in us;
Only a shadow of your faith in us; your deep and lasting faith.

The dreams we have today, O Lord, are only a shadow of your dreams for us;
Only a shadow of your dreams for us; if we but follow you.

The joy we share today, O Lord, is only a shadow of your joys for us;
Only a shadow of your joys for us; when we meet face to face.

Our lives are in your hands,
Our lives are in your hands.
Our love for you will grow, O Lord;
Your light in us will shine.”

The words and music for this week’s anthem are by Carey Landry (1971).  Carey Landry (born 1944) is an American composer of Catholic liturgical music.   He has a master’s degree in theology from The Catholic University of America and lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“Forth in Your Name, O Christ” (VU #416)

“Forth in your name, O Christ, we go, our daily labour to pursue,
You, only you, resolved to know in all we think, or speak, or do.

The task your wisdom has assigned here let us cheerfully fulfil;
In all our works your presence find, and prove your good and perfect will.

Help us to bear your easy yoke, in every moment watch and pray,
And still to things eternal look, and hasten to that glorious day.

Then with delight may we employ all that your bounteous grace has given,
And run our earthly course with joy, and closely walk with you to heaven.”

This text, from Charles Wesley’s Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749), is one of the few hymns directly about work.  The tune, CANONBURY, is one of a number of 19th-century hymn tunes adapted from instrumental works by well-known composers.  The melody is from Robert Schumann’s Nachtstucke for solo piano.  It was first seen as a hymn tune in 1872.

Where is your God


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