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Notes on the Notes – November 22, 2020

Reign of Christ Sunday

To Live Into Christ’s Reign

This Week’s Music:

“Rejoice, the Lord is King” (VU #213)

“Rejoice the Lord is King! Your risen Lord adore!
Rejoice, give thanks and sing and triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice: rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Jesus the Saviour reigns, the God of truth and love;king
When he had purged our sins, he took his seat above.
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice: rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

God’s kingdom cannot fail, Christ rules o’er earth and heaven,
The keys of death and hell are to our Jesus given.
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice: rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Rejoice in glorious hope, for Christ, the judge, shall come
To glorify the saints for their eternal home.
We soon shall hear the archangel’s voice,
The trump of God shall sound, rejoice!”

The original text for this hymn is from an Ascension festival hymn by Charles Wesley which was published by John Wesley in his Moral and Sacred Poems (1744).  The altered, more familiar version appeared in Charles Wesley’s Hymns for Our Lord’s Resurrection (1746).  The hymn is based on Philippians 4:4. “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” The early Methodists experienced much persecution and hardship and Charles wrote this hymn, based on Paul’s words penned while in prison, to encourage them. The hymn is a call to believe in the risen Christ. When one reads the text, you can almost see Charles Wesley standing on a box on a street corner, shouting these words to the masses.

The evangelistic focus of this hymn reflects the energy of the Wesley brothers as they founded the Methodist movement. Since the early Methodists were calling people toward Christ, it is possible that this text is not so much for congregants in attendance but for people who do not yet know the majesty of Christ. The text itself sums up in simple terms their understanding of who Jesus is and views Christ as our Savior, King, and Judge.
The tune is a setting by John Darwall (1770) that was only paired with Wesley’s text in the late 19th century.

Hear the hymn on pipe organ at: https://youtu.be/F1YzlM2gHCg

Hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3pGwlF6vQg

“Christ Has No Body Now But Yours” (MV #171)

The words of this hymn were adapted by Stephen C. Warner in 2003 from the original poem by St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582).  They challenge us to be Christ’s body in the world today, carrying on Jesus’ work of love, justice and compassion.

Christ has no body but yours.
Here on this earth, yours is the work, to serve with the joy of compassion.

No hands but yours to heal the wounded world,
no hands but yours to soothe all its suffering,
no touch but yours to bind the broken hope of the people of God.

No eyes but yours to see as Christ would see,
to find the lost, to gaze with compassion;
no eyes but yours to glimpse the holy joy of the city of God.

Christ-has-no-body-now-but-yoursNo feet but yours to journey with the poor, to walk this world with mercy and justice.
Yours are the steps to build a lasting peace for the children of God.

Through ev’ry gift, give back to those in need;
as Christ has blessed, so now be his blessing,
with ev’ry gift a benediction be to the people of God.”

Born in Spain, Teresa entered a Carmelite convent when she was eighteen, and later earned a reputation as a mystic, reformer, and writer who experienced divine visions. She founded a convent, and wrote the book The Way of Perfection for her nuns. The music used in More Voices was written in 2006 by Rick Gunn, a United Church musician from Bedford, Nova Scotia.

“Praise You”

“Lord, I come to You today with a simple prayer to pray.
In ev’rything I do, let my life, oh Lord, praise You.

Praise You, praise You;
Let my life praise You.
Praise You, praise You,
Let my life, O Lord, praise You.

Lord, You formed me out of clay.
And for Your glory I was made.
Use this vessel as You choose.
Let my life, oh Lord, praise You.

Praise You…”

This simple song by Wayne and Elizabeth Goodine is a humble prayer that all of our actions be in praise to God. It was written in 1993.

“I, the Lord of Sea and Sky (Here I Am, Lord)” (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

“Amen” (VU #974)

“Amen, amen, hallelujah, amen!
Amen, amen, hallelujah, amen!”

Our benediction response this week was written by Jim Strathdee (1985).

 

Categories: Notes on the Notes