Windsor Park United Church

Notes on the Notes – May 19, 2019

Wake up to God’s Creation!

This week’s scripture readings:

Revelation 21:1-6    John 13:31-35

This week’s music:

“All Things Bright and Beautiful” (VU #291)

“All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful
In love, God made them all.

Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings,
God made their glowing colours, God made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountains, the river running by,
The sunset and the morning that brightens up the sky.

The cold wind in the winter, the pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden: God made them every one.

The rocky mountain splendor, the lone wolf’s haunting call,
The great lakes and the prairies, the forest in the fall.

God gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell
How Great is God our maker, who has made all things well.”

This classic text, from Cecil Frances Alexander’s Hymns for Little Children (1846), has become a cherished way of expressing our joy in God’s creation.  The tune, ROYAL OAK, is an English traditional melody.

“Soil of God, You and I” (MV #174)

“Soil of God, you and I, stand ready to bear
Seeds of faith nourished by God’s tender care.
Growing in everyone for here God is found.
All stand together, we are…
Holy ground.

Soil of God, you and I, now ready to be
Part of God’s promise, for others to see.
Open to everyone for here God is found.
All stand together, we are…
Holy ground.plant

Soil of God, you and I, now called to rebirth,
Joining as partners with all of the earth.
Living in harmony for here God is found.
All stand together, this is…
Holy ground.”

This hymn by jim hannah (1995) reminds us of our role in God’s creation using the metaphors of soil and planting.   First, the seed of faith is planted and nourished.  Then, the growth of our faith is seen and shared with others.  And finally, we find our place within all of God’s creation – for when we become a true part of the Creation, we find God.

“Everything is Connected”

“Everything is connected in the world that God has created.
No one should be neglected since the love of God is for all.

We depend on our planet for the food and water that feeds us.
How can nature withstand it if we don’t take care of our world?

When we help one another, even small things will make a difference.
Everyone is our neighbour, when we live as children of God.

From the earth to see, sun to tree,
All life works in unity.
With you and me, can you see?
We are all one family.”

Allan Baer wrote this song in 2017.  It has been arranged by S. Porter.  When telling the story of this song Allan says,

Several times a year, I join with a small group of instrumentalists to provide music during Sunday worship. During one rehearsal, the sound I was hearing was a grating mix of discords. It turned out that there was a misunderstanding about what song we were to play and we were literally not “on the same page” – it wasn’t even the same song. We weren’t connected. Yet on that spring day, the sun was shining, green buds were pushing though the newly thawed earth and the birds were singing. Unlike our music that day, nature is incredibly interwoven – life would cease to exist if that weren’t so. The poet John Donne wrote “No man is an island”. But humanity often devalues its ties to the earth and to others. Those ties cut across time as well. Just as we have inherited much from our ancestors, we connect with future generations by what we leave, whether materially or spiritually. That’s why I would use this song to pass along to youth the need to respect our world and our neighbours. When we look to tomorrow, it is worth reminding ourselves that we’re all in this together – we are connected.”  (Source https://www.crossroadsunited.ca/spirit/)

“Touch the Earth Lightly” (VU #307)

“Touch the earth lightly, use the earth gently,
Nourish the life of the world in our care:
Gift of great wonder, ours to surrender,
Trust for the children tomorrow will bear.

We who endanger, who create hunger,
Agents of death for all creatures that live,
We who would foster clouds of disaster,
God of our planet, forestall and forgive!

Let there be greening, birth from the burning,
Water that blesses and air that is sweet,
Health in God’s garden, hope in God’s children,
Regeneration that peace will complete.

God of all living, God of all loving,
God of the seedling, the snow and the sun,
Teach us, deflect us, Christ reconnect us,
Using us gently and making us one.”

The words for this hymn were written by Shirley Erena Murray in 1991.  Shirley Erena Murray (born 31 March 1931) is a New Zealand hymn lyrics writer.  In the words, she contrasts the harm being done to the earth with the hope for  “a new heaven, and a new earth,”  where we turn from our current path of destruction to return to God’s way of caring for Creation and each other.   Hear the hymn sung at Church of the Redeemer in worship at:  https://youtu.be/EcwyMmf3q0g

“To Show by Touch and Word” (VU #427)

“To show by touch and word devotion to the earth,
To hold in full regard all life that comes to birth,
We need, O God, the will to find the good you had of old in mind.

Renew our minds to choose the things that matter most,
Our hearts to long for truth till pride of self is lost.
For every challenge that we face we need your guidance and your grace.

Let love from day to day be yardstick, rule, and norm,
And let our lives portray you word in human form.
Now come with us that we may have your wits about us where we live.”

This hymn by Fred Kaan (1974) and Ron Klusmeier (1974) brings our worship to a close with a prayer to God.  As we are faced by the challenges of a world seeking to understand our impact on the Creation, we ask for God’s presence and love.

Hear the hymn used in worship at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmVRgZWPlXg

 earthTo Ponder:

How is your view of God’s creation, and your place in it, changing?

Links to information about Climate Change:

Bill Nye the Science Guy explains Climate Change at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtW2rrLHs08

Greta Thunburg’s 2018 TED Talk:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2QxFM9y0tY

Secretary-General of the United Nations:

Posted in Notes on the Notes on May 18, 2019.