Notes on the Notes – October 29, 2017
This week’s scripture readings
Deuteronomy 34:1-12 Matthew 22:34-46
This week’s music:
“I Sing the Mighty Power” (VU #231)
“I sing the mighty power of God that made the mountains rise;
That spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at God’s command and all the stars obey.
I sing the goodness of the One who filled the earth with food;
Who formed the creatures with a word, and then pronounced them good.
O God, your wonders are displayed where’er I turn my eye;
If I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky!
There’s not a plant or flower below but makes your glories known;
And clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from your throne;
While all that borrows life from you is ever in your care;
And everywhere that I may be, You, God, are present there.”
This hymn in praise of the Creator is from Divine Songs Attempted in Easy Language, for the Use of Children (1715), a collection of songs which Isaac Watts wrote for children, at the request of a friend. Australian hymnologist Wesley Milgate comments, “Watts shows in this hymn a readiness rare in his time to credit children with intelligence and imagination, so that it is a fine hymn for adults also.” The tune, HAYDN, has been attributed to Franz Joseph Haydn, but, despite its name, the association has never been proven.
“Jesus Calls Us Here to Meet Him”
“Jesus calls us here to meet him as, through word and song and prayer;
We affirm God’s promised presence where his people live and care.
Praise the God who keeps his promise; praise the Son who calls us friends;
Praise the Spirit who, among us, to our hopes and fears attends.
Jesus calls us to confess him Word of Life and Lord of all,
Sharer of our flesh and frailness saving all who fail or fall.
Tell his holy human story; tell his tales that all may hear;
Tell the world that Christ is glory came to earth to meet us here.
Jesus calls us to each other; vastly different though we are;
Race and color, class and gender neither limit nor debar.
Join the hand of friend and stranger; join the hands of age and youth;
Join the faithful and the doubter in their common search for truth.”
The text for this hymn was written by John L Bell and Graham Maule. We will be using the tune, BLAENWERN, which was composed by William P. Rowlands during the Welsh revival of 1904-05.
“A Place in the Valley”
“There’s a place in the valley beside a cool and flowing stream,
Where the trees reach up to heaven and the ground is soft and green.
All the world is calm and peaceful, there’s a stillness in the air;
And I know that in the silence, God is listening, listening to my prayer.
When I’m there in the valley beneath the sky so clear and blue,
I can see creation’s glory. All the earth seems fresh and new.
Nature’s song is all around me, blending peace and harmony;
And I know that in the music, God is calling, calling out to me.
I will lift my eyes up to the mountains, for I know my help will come from the Lord.
I will find all the strength and the comfort that I need and God’s grace will be my reward.
Let us go to the valley where golden sun breaks through the trees,
And God’s love is all around us like a warm and gentle breeze.
Let us share this awesome wonder and rejoice in each new day.
For we know that every moment, God is showing, showing us the way…”
This week’s anthem, by Don Besig and Nancy Price, was written in honor of Janet Gallagher and the music ministries of the United Church of Underhill, Vermont. The song references Psalm 121. It also connects to our reading from Deuteronomy, where Moses looks over the Promised Land after leading the people through the wilderness.
“Move in the World”
“Move in the world, with kindness as your creed;
Open your eyes to see its deepest need;
Let peace and justice be the truths we heed,
Move in the world, embracing its despair;
The poor and hungry seek our love and care;
With outstretched hands the gift of hope we share,
Live in the world, strive for a better day,
Let truth and fairness birth a kinder way,
Where people, all, the love command obey,
The words for our closing hymn were written by Peggy McDonagh, of St. David’s United Church in Calgary and remind us of our reading from Matthew 22. We will be using the melody, SINE NOMINE, more commonly known as the tune for the hymn “For All the Saints” which was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1906.