Notes on the Notes – November 24, 2013
This week’s theme: Reign of Christ Sunday – How could Jesus be a King?
This week’s scripture readings: Jeremiah 23:5-6, Colossians 1:15-20
This week’s music:
“This is the Day” (MV #122) – This hymn by Bruce Harding (2003) is inspired by the words of Psalm 118:24. Harding wrote both the text and music, which was translated to French by David Fines in 2005. To hear the song go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88a-8OXGYk4
“Jesus, Draw Me Close” –
“Jesus draw me close; closer, Lord, to You. Let the world around me fade away. Jesus, draw me close; closer, Lord, to You. For I desire to worship and obey.”
Rick Founds wrote this song in 1990. When asked about the writing of the song, he said: “You’re not happy when they arrive. They are certainly NOT welcome. The sooner they’re gone, the better. We all have them. No, I’m not talking about the obnoxious relative, or that certain “difficult” person at work, but the trials that seem to invade our lives at the least opportune moment… The bad day… The tough week at work… The year you’d just as soon erase from your life… Or those times of loss, which are annoying at best, and tragic at worst… when you lose your car keys… or your job… or a close friend … or member of the family. It was during one of “those” weeks, that the song, “JESUS DRAW ME CLOSE” was born. The flu was going around, everybody was suffering with it, and I had been blessed with a “double portion”. The car had decided to self-destruct, activities at work were busier than normal, expectations were high, energy and inspiration were low… I was not having a good week. I sat in my office, in an old and ugly, but very comfortable stuffed chair. (a cherished garage sale aquisition.) Nestled in my favorite “reading space”, with Alka-Seltzer fizzing in the glass nearby and my Bible, I picked up where I had left off in the Book of Psalms….Psalm 42
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God? ‘These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God… By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me– a prayer to the God of my life.”
It was perfect. Just what I needed. The Lord, in His quiet and gentle way, was reminding me once again, that in this world of constantly changing circumstances, there is a place in the presence of the unchanging God, where I can go at any time. A little further pursuit in the short concordance at the back of my Bible, directed me to other reassurances of how close God was to me at that very moment; and the ease with which I could draw near to Him…
Psalm 145:18 “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” – Isaiah 55:6 “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”
Psalm 73:28 “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.”
The profound simplicity of this truth prompted a simple and honest prayer; “JESUS, DRAW ME CLOSE… CLOSER LORD, TO YOU. LET THE WORLD AROUND ME FADE AWAY.” … Picking up my guitar, I put the prayer to an equally simple melody, and concluded with;
“….. FOR I DESIRE TO WORSHIP, AND OBEY.” At the Bible Study that evening, the little musical prayer seemed to strike a resonant chord in the hearts of the people. They quickly picked up the melody, and proceeded to make the prayer their own.”
Listen to Rick Founds sing the song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi9WrG1054k
“I Love You, Lord” –
“I love you, Lord and I lift my voice to worship You. Oh, my soul, rejoice!
Take joy my King in what You hear. Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.”
To learn about the story behind the song, go to: http://aliveworshipexperience.blogspot.ca/2007/12/test_9934.html
To hear the Maranatha version of the song, accompanied by beautiful video of God’s creation, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5DnUvrxpeM
“Open Our Eyes, Lord” – Bob Cull
Hear the song sung by Maranatha at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZsZkB-HcyE
“Open My Eyes, That I May See” (VU #371) –
“Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me; place in my hand the wonderful key that shall unclasp and set me free. Silently now, I wait for thee, ready my God, thy will to see. Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit Divine!”
Clara H. Scott (1841-1897) provides us with a hymn of consecration that has been sung for over 100 years. A Midwesterner, she was born in Illinois and died in Iowa.
In 1856, Scott attended the first Music Institute held by C.M. Cady in Chicago, Ill. By 1859, she was teaching music at the Ladies’ Seminary, Lyons, Iowa. She married Henry Clay Scott in 1861, and published in 1882 the Royal Anthem Book, the first volume of choir anthems published by a woman.
Horatio R. Palmer, an influential church musician in Chicago and later New York City, was a source of encouragement for Scott, and helped her publish many of her songs. Three collections were issued before her untimely death, when a runaway horse caused a buggy accident in Dubuque, Iowa.
The text of “Open My Eyes” was written in 1895 shortly before Scott’s death. Each stanza reveals an increasing receptiveness to the “Spirit divine.” Open eyes lead to “glimpses of truth.” Open ears lead to “voices of truth.” An open mouth leads to sharing the “warm truth everywhere.” An open heart leads to sharing “love to thy children.”
The image of open eyes is common in the Bible. In some cases, this is a sign of Christ’s healing power, as when Jesus gave sight to the blind man at the pool of Siloam in John 9. Closed eyes, on the other hand, could be a metaphor for avoiding the truth as in the case of John 12:40, a passage following the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem and beginning his journey to the cross: “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”
The image of open ears is also significant in the biblical witness. Matthew often reprises the theme “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Closed ears become a metaphor for a lack of understanding. While the eyes and the ears are receptive organs, the mouth has the capacity to project. The mouth may project “cursing and deceit and fraud” (Psalm 10:7), or it may be an organ that projects praise, as Psalm 51:15 exhorts us: “O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.”
Hear the song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aV5eKUEfLTY
“Forever Reign” – “Forever Reign” was co-written by Reuben Morgan and Jason Ingram. When asked about the story behind the song, Reuben Morgan says:
“The message of the song is very confessional. Throughout the song we declare who God is, “You are good, You are love, You are light, You are hope, You are peace, You are joy and You are life.” At the same time, we combine that message of who God is with our response, “You are good, You are good, when there’s nothing good in me.” I hope the song enlarges God in our view of Him. We need to know that God is not diminished by our circumstances, doubts or our response… The bridge, “My heart will sing, no other Name, Jesus, Jesus” singing that bridge over and over after we finish the song. It’s humbling to be part of something that affects people in a personal way.”
Here are the lyrics:
” You are good when there’s nothing good in me. You are love on display for all to see. You are light when the darkness closes in. You are hope – You have covered all my sin.
You are peace when my fear is crippling. You are true even in my wandering. You are joy – You’re the reason that I sing. You are life, in You death has lost it’s sting.
Oh, I’m running to Your arms. The riches of Your love will always be enough. Nothing compares to Your embrace. Light of the world forever reign.
You are more than my words will ever say. You are Lord, all creation will proclaim. You are here – in Your presence I’m made whole. You are God – of all else I’m letting go.
My heart will sing no other name – Jesus, Jesus.
Oh, I’m running to Your arms. The riches of Your love will always be enough. Nothing compares to Your embrace. Light of the world forever reign.”
Hear One Sonic Society sharing the song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADuWzd7x25c
“You are Holy” – Michael W. Smith, well-known contemporary Christian artist, gives us this song of praise featuring the many names of Jesus. It was first released in 2002.
“You are holy, You are mighty, You are worthy of praise. I will follow, I will listen, I will love you all of my days.
I will sing to And worship The King who is worthy
I will love and adore Him And I will bow down before Him
You are Lord of Lords. You are King of Kings. You are mighty God – Lord of everything.
You’re Emmanuel. You’re the great “I AM.” You’re the Prince of Peace who is the Lamb.
You’re the living God. You’re my saving grace. You will reign forever. You are Ancient of days.
You are Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End. You’re my Saviour, Messiah, Redeemer and friend.
You’re my Prince of Peace and I will live my life for You.”
Watch Michael W. Smith performing the song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dHaMNVwHRE
“Your Everlasting Love” –
This popular praise and worship song is by Bill Batstone (1993). The simple lyrics and catchy tune make this song a staple of Christian camp and praise services and remind us of the constant presence of God’s love.
“Your everlasting love Is higher than the sky, Oh the wonder of Your everlasting love is higher than the sky.
Your everlasting love is deeper than the sea, Oh the wonder of Your everlasting love is deeper than the sea.
Higher than the heavens above is the glory of Your wonderful love. I’m lost in the mystery of Your everlasting love.
Your everlasting love is reaching out to me, Oh the wonder of Your everlasting love is reaching out to me.”
“I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” –
“I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.
Tho’ no-one join me, still I will follow, no turning back, no turning back.
The world behind me, the cross before me, no turning back, no turning back.”
“I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” is a hymn originating from India. The lyrics are based on the last words of a man in Assam, north-east India, who along with his family was converted to Christianity in the middle of the 19th century through the efforts of a Welsh missionary. Called to renounce his faith by the village chief, the convert declared, “I have decided to follow Jesus.” In response to threats to his family, he continued, “Though no one joins me, still I will follow.” His wife was killed, and he was executed while singing, “The cross before me, the world behind me.” This display of faith is reported to have led to the conversion of the chief and others in the village. The formation of these words into a hymn is attributed to the Indian missionary Sadhu Sundar Singh. The melody is also Indian, and entitled “Assam” after the region where the text originated. An American hymn editor, William Jensen Reynolds, composed an arrangement which was included in the 1959 Assembly Songbook. His version became a regular feature of Billy Graham’s evangelistic meetings in America and elsewhere, spreading its popularity.
Due to the lyrics’ explicit focus on the believer’s own commitment, the hymn is cited as a prime example of decision theology, emphasizing the human response rather than the action of God in giving faith.