Notes on the Notes – November 17, 2019
God in Opposition!
Isaiah 65:17-25 Luke 21:5-19
This week’s music:
“Jesus, Come to Our Hearts” (VU #324)
“Jesus, come to our hearts like falling rain;
Come to refresh,
Come to renew,
Wash all our sins away.
Spirit, come to our hearts like rushing wind;
Come with your fire,
Come with your life,
Blow all our doubts away.
Come, God, come to our hearts like shining sun;
Come to reveal,
Lighten your Word,
Drive all our gloom away.
Glory be to the Lamb that once was slain;
Praise for his life,
Praise for his death,
Praise that he lives again.
Praises be to our God, the three in one;
Praise for the sun,
Praise for the wind,
Praise for the falling rain.”
This hymn is from Alleluia Aotearoa (1993). The text is by New Zealand hymn writer, William Worley. The tune was arranged by David Dell. The text connects the Trinity to the natural world and highlights the Trinity as an agent of positive renewal and change.
“Creating God, We Give You Thanks” (VU #292)
“Creating God, we give you thanks that this your world is incomplete;
That battle calls our marshalled ranks,
That work awaits our hands and feet.
You have not finished woman, man,
For we are in the making still,
As friends who share the Maker’s plan,
As those who know your loving will.
Beyond the present sin and shame,
Wrong’s bitter, cruel, scorching blight,
We see the beckoning vision flame,
The blessed kingdom of the right.
What though the kingdom long delay,
And still with haughty foes must cope?
It gives us that for which to pray,
A field for toil and faith and hope.
Since what we choose is what we are,
And what we love we yet shall be,
The goal may ever shine afar,
The will to win it makes us free.”
The words for this hymn were written by William deWitt Hyde in 1903. Hyde was an ordained minister and professor of moral philosophy. He published the book “The 5 Great Philosophies of Life” in 1924. While seeing God as still in the process of creating, Hyde reminds us that we also have a role to play in bringing God’s new kingdom to birth. The words were set to the tune WAREHAM, written by William Knapp in 1738.
“For the Healing of the Nations” (VU #678)
“For the healing of the nations, God, we pray with one accord;
For a just and equal sharing of the things that earth affords.
To a life of love in action help us rise and pledge our word.
Lead us forward into freedom, from despair your world release;
That redeemed from war and hatred, all may come and go in peace.
Show us how through care and goodness fear will die and hope increase.
All that kills abundant living, let it from the earth be banned:
Pride of status, race or schooling, dogmas that obscure your plan.
In our common quest for justice may we hallow life’s brief span.
You, Creator-God, have written your great name on humankind;
For our growing in your likeness bring the life of Christ to mind;
That, by our response and service, earth its destiny may find.”
This hymn was written by Fred Kaan in 1965 and was first sung by his congregation at a service of worship marking Human Rights Day. The words are a prayer both for healing, and for the will to turn away from the things that contribute to injustice in our world. We are reminded of the hope of a future of justice and peace. The words are set to the hymn tune WESTMINSTER ABBEY, written by Henry Purcell (ca 1682).
“O for a World” (VU #697)
“O for a world where everyone respects each other’s ways,
Where love is lived and all is done with justice and with praise.
O for a world where goods are shared and misery relieved,
Where truth is spoken, children spared, equality achieved.
We welcome one world family and struggle with each choir
That opens us to unity and gives our vision voice.
The poor are rich, the weak are strong, the foolish ones are wise.
Tell all who mourn: outcasts belong, who perishes will rise.
O for a world preparing for God’s glorious reign of peace,
Where time and tears will be no more, and all but love will cease.”
Miriam Therese Winter, a professor of liturgy and worship at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, wrote this hymn for a Presbyterian Women’s Triennial Conference. It was later re-crafted and recorded by the Medical Mission Sisters. The tune AMZON is a German tune, more familiarly known as the tune for the hymn “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing.”
Today, where do you see opportunities for change and renewal in the world?