Notes on the Notes – May 30, 2021

Trinity Sunday

This week’s music:

“Praise With Joy the World’s Creator” (VU #312)

“Praise with joy the world’s Creator,
God of justice, love, and peace,
Source and end of human knowledge,
God whose grace shall never cease.
Celebrate the Maker’s glory,
Power to rescue and release.

Praise to Christ who feeds the hungry,
Frees the captive, finds the lost,
Heals the sick, upsets religion,
Fearless both of fate and cost.
Celebrate Christ’s constant presence:
Friend and stranger, guest and host.

Praise the Spirit sent among us,
Liberating truth from pride,
Forging bonds where race or gender,

Age or nation dare divide.
Celebrate the Spirit’s treasure:
Foolishness none dare deride.

Praise the Maker, Christ, and Spirit,
One God in community,
Calling Christians to embody
Oneness and diversity.
This the world shall see reflected:
God is One and One in Three.”

This text in praise of the Trinity was written for an anniversary conference of the World Student Christian Federation held at Edinburgh in 1985 by the Iona Community.  It brings fresh insights to the understanding of the Godhead.  In verse one we offer praise to the Creator, “God of justice, love and peace…” Verse two celebrates “Christ’s constant presence” with us as fearless world-changer.  In verse three, the hymn offers praise to the Spirit, moving among us, “liberating truth from pride…” The final verse brings all three together into the Trinity, calling us to “embody oneness and diversity.” The music LAUDA ANIMA (PRAISE MY SOUL) was composed by John Goss, organist at St. Paul’s Cathdral in London, in 1868. The tune is most well-known as the tune for the hymn, “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven.”

Watch an organ solo of this hymn tune at:  https://youtu.be/Q5VkuRqUA0Y

“Creator, Companion, Comforter” (tune VU #409)

“God of Creation,
Gentle life-giver,
Present at birth, and
all through our days;
Author of sunrise,
Song in the night sky,
Here in this place, we
offer our praise.

Jesus, Companion,
teacher and healer,
friend of the grieving,
suffering, the poor;
Stand with your people,
whisper among us,
promise of mercy,
goodness for all.

Spirit of Comfort
blow through Creation,
stir up new life, breathe
peace through our world.
Healer of hearts, and
hope for tomorrow,
weave all our sorrows
into new dawn.

Here we give thanks for
life in its fullness,
blessings received,
your gifts to us all.
Make us a people
filled with compassion
selflessly giving,
serving your world.”

This new hymn about the Trinity was written by Craig Mitchell, 2010.   The tune we will be using is BUNESSAN,  also known as the tune for the song “Morning Has Broken.”

“The Play of the Godhead”

“The play of the Godhead, the Trinity’s dance,
Embraces the earth in a sacred romance:
With God the Creator, and Christ the true Son,
Entwined with the Spirit, a web daily spun
In spangles of myst’ry the great Three-in-One.

The warm mists of summer, cool waters that flow,
Turn crystal as ice when the wintry winds blow.
The taproot that nurtures, the shoot growing free,
The life-giving fruit, full and ripe on the tree:
More mystic and wondrous, the great One-in-Three.

In God’s gracious image of coequal parts,
We gather as dancers, uniting our hearts.
Men, women, and children, and all living things,
We join in the round of bright nature that rings
With rapture and rhythm: Creation now sings!”

This week’s anthem is a hymn written by Mary Louise Bringle in 2000.  The music was written by Robert J. Batastini in 2003.   The lyrics address the idea of seeing the Trinity of God in the natural world.

“I, the Lord of Sea and Sky” (VU #509)

“I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in deepest sin my hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.  Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.here-i-am-lord
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them;
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone, give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them.
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.  Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I well set a feast for them;
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give my life to them.
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.  Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

“When The United Methodist Hymnal was published in 1989, one of the most popular hymns was immediately “Here I Am, Lord” (1981) by Dan Schutte (b. 1947).   The stirring refrain is perhaps the first part of the hymn to capture the singer’s imagination.…“Here I Am, Lord” recalls immediately Isaiah 6:8: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’”

An unusual attribute of this hymn is the change in point of view that the singer makes between the stanzas and the refrain. The stanzas speak from the perspective of God in the first person singular, while the refrain, though remaining in first person, is from the perspective of the singers of the hymn offering their lives to God.

Each stanza reflects a paradox. The powerful God, creator of “sea and sky,” “snow and rain” and “wind and flame” is also the God who hears the “people cry,” bears the “people’s pain” and “tend[s] the poor and lame.” This is a hymn of transformation. God transforms the darkness into light in stanza one, melts “hearts of stone” with love in stanza two and nourishes the “poor and lame” with the “finest bread.”

Each stanza ends with the question, “Whom shall I send?” … The refrain immediately offers the response, “Here I am, Lord.”…”  (Source: http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-here-i-am-lord)

Original version of the song, sung by the songwriter, Dan Schutte:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBg-yDhM2KY

Up-tempo version by Chris Bray:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4t6mz8yoocY

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