Notes on the Notes – May 31, 2020
To Be Filled With the Spirit
This week’s music:
“Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness” (VU #375)
“Spirit, Spirit of gentleness,
Blow thro’ the wilderness calling and free;
Spirit, Spirit of restlessness,
Stir me from placidness,
Wind, Wind on the sea.
You moved on the waters, you called to the deep,
Then you coaxed up the mountains from the valleys of sleep;
And over the eons you called to each thing:
Wake from your slumbers and rise on your wings.
You sang in a stable; you cried from a hill;
Then you whispered in silence when the whole world was still;
And down in the city you called once again,
When you blew thro’ your people on the rush of the wind.
You call from tomorrow, you break ancient schemes,
From the bondage of sorrow the captives dream dreams,
Our women see visions, our men clear their eyes,
With bold new decisions your people arise.”
This popular hymn by songwriter James K. Manley grew out of a sabbatical leave at the School of Theology at Claremont, California. It was first sung at Waiokeola Congregational Church in Honolulu, after which Manley added the fourth verse at the suggestion of a church member. The words of the hymn follow the movement of the Spirit from Creation through the life of Jesus to modern times. This hymn was first introduced to the congregation at WPUC in the green hymn book “Songs for a Gospel People.”
Hear the song on piano at: https://youtu.be/gNdbq8Bf1GQ
“A Pentecost Hymn”
“Spirit of God, draw close we pray,
Help us to follow in your way.
In what we think or say or do
Help us to choose to follow you.
When we’re afraid to say what’s right,
Tired, or lack the will to fight,
Give us the strength to stand and choose,
Making our lives a light for you.
Help us to look within our hearts
And for our growth set time apart,
Listening with prayer and stillness deep –
These bring our needy spirits peace.
Spirit of God, bring life anew,
Shine in our hearts and lead us through.
Life with its light and darksome hues –
May joy endure in all we do.”
The words for this hymn were written by Mary Downey from Holy Spirit Anglican Church in Mississauga, On. The tune, HESPERUS, is by Henry Baker (1834) and is also know as the tune for the hymn “Take Up Your Cross.”
Hear the tune on organ at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1ZPfWMk6Jo
“On Pentecost They Gathered” (VU #195)
“On Pentecost they gathered quite early in the day,
A band of Christ’s disciples, to worship, sing, and pray.
A mighty wind came blowing, filled all the swirling air,
And tongues of fire a-glowing inspired each person there.
The people all around them were startled and amazed
To understand their language, as Jesus Christ they praised.
What universal message, what great good news was here?
That Christ, once dead, is risen to vanquish all our fear.
God pours the Holy Spirit on all who would believe,
On women, men, and children who would God’s grace receive.
That Spirit knows no limit, bestowing life and power.
The church, formed and reforming, responds in every hour.
O Spirit, sent form heaven on that day long ago,
Rekindle faith among us in all life’s ebb and flow.
O give us ears to listen and tongues aflame with praise,
So folk of every nation glad songs of joy shall raise.”
This hymn, by Jane Parker Huber (1976), retells the Pentecost story through song. The music is the hymn tune MUNICH adapted by Felix Mendelssohn in 1847.
Hear the song sung in worship at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUAB8_bcYpY
“Come Holy Spirit/Spirit of the Living God”
“Come Holy Spirit, fall afresh on me.
Fill me with Your power, satisfy my needs.
Only You can make me whole,
Give me strength to make me grow.
Come Holy Spirit, fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mould me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.”
The first part of this song was written by Malcolm Fletcher in 1986 and references Colossians 1:9-12. The song then moves into the familiar hymn “Spirit of the Living God” by Daviel Iverson (1926).
“She Comes Sailing on the Wind” (VU #380)
“She comes sailing on the wind, her wings flashing in the sun;
On a journey just begun, she flies on.
And in the passage of her flight, her song rings out through the night,
Full of laughter, full of light, she flies on.
Silent waters rocking on the morning of our birth,
Like an empty cradle waiting to be filled.
And from the heart of God the Spirit moved upon the earth,
Like a mother breathing life into her child.
To a gentle girl in Galilee, a gentle breeze she came,
A whisper softly calling in the dark,
The promise of a child of peace whose reign would never end,
Mary sang the Spirit song within her heart.
Flying to the river, she waited circling high
Above the child now grown so full of grace.
As he rose up from the water, she swept down from the sky,
And she carried him away in her embrace.
Long after the deep darkness that fell upon the world,
After dawn returned in flame of rising sun,
The Spirit touched the earth again, again her wings unfurled,
Bringing life in wind and fire as she flew on.”
This folk-style song was written by Gordon Light of the Common Cup Company, a group originally formed in Winnipeg and subsequently based in Burnaby, BC. in 1985. The verses we are singing this week lead us through the stories of Creation, Jesus’ birth, baptism, Easter and Pentecost, while the chorus emphasizes the eternal nature of God’s Spirit.
Hear the song sung by the Common Cup Company at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPSjTGzjUSI
“Send Us Out”
“Send us out in the power of Your Spirit, Lord,
May our lives bring Jesus to the world.
May each thought and word bring glory to Your name,
Send us out in Your Spirit, Lord, we pray.”
The words and music for our benediction response were written by Ruth Fazal (1993).
Hear the song from Ruth’s album at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh1gtSWAOPg