Notes on the Notes – Sept. 20, 2015
This week’s Theme: Second Sunday of Creation/Baptism/Reception of New Members by Transfer/Gratitude Sunday
This week’s Scripture Readings: James 3:13-4:3, Mark 9:30-37
This week’s music:
“All Things Bright and Beautiful” (VU #291)
The text, from Cecil Frances Alexander’s Hymns for Little Children (1846), is based on the phrase “Maker of heaven and earth” in the Apostles’ Creed. The new words for verse four are particularly apt in the Canadian context. The tune, ROYAL OAK, is an English traditional melody associated with the restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660. The arrangement in Voices United is by Martin Shaw (1915). The editors of “Voices United” also changed the words slightly in the interest of inclusivity.
Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings, God made their glowing colours, God made their tiny wings.
The purple-headed mountains, the river running by, the sunset and the morning that brightens up the sky.
The cold wind in the winter, the pleasant summer sun, the ripe fruits in the garden: God made them every one.
The rocky mountain splendor, the lone wolf’s haunting call, the great lakes and the prairies, the forest in the fall.
God gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell how great is God our maker, who has made all things well.”
Watch a beautiful video by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir:
“God is Here” (VU #389)
“God is here! As we your people meet to offer praise and prayer,
May we find in fuller measure what it is in Christ we share.
Here, as in the world around us,
All our varied skills and arts
Wait the coming of the Spirit into open minds and hearts.
Here are symbols to remind us of our lifelong need of grace;
Here are table, font, and pulpit, here the cross has central place.
Here in honesty of preaching, here in silence, as in speech,
Here, in newness and renewal, God the Spirit comes to each.
Here our children find a welcome in the Shepherd’s flock and fold;
Here as bread and wine are taken, Christ sustains us, as of old.
Here the servants of the Servant seek in worship to explore
What it means in daily living to believe and to adore.
God of all, of church and kingdom, in an age of change and doubt
Keep us faithful to the gospel; help us work your purpose out.
Here, in this day’s dedication, all we have to give, receive;
We, who cannot live without you, we adore you! We believe!”
Fred Pratt Green wrote the words for this hymn for the closing of an eight month church festival on worship, music and the arts at University Methodist Church in Austin, Texas in 1978. The third verse celebrates the sacraments of baptism and communion and the commitment to serve God daily. William Rowlands composed the tune BLAENWERN during the Welsh revival of 1904-05.
“Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me, place in my hands 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!
Open my ears, that I may hear voices of truth thou sendest clear; and while the wavenotes fall on my ear, everything false will disappear…
Open my mouth, and let me bear gladly the warm truth everywhere; open my heart and let me prepare love with thy children thus to share….”
Clara H. Scott was an American composer of songs, anthems and piano music. C. Michael Hawn says, “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…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… 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.”
Hear a piano rendition of the hymn at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODDfaAybNKk
“Love Grows Here”
“Take a look around you, tell me what you see;
People here to worship the Lord, just like you and me.
Some have come in gladness, some have come with fear;
But all have come because they know that love grows here!
Yes, love grows here, and all of us can share the wonder and joy that it can bring.
For God is near, teaching us to care, and showing our hearts how to sing.
Some of us are lonely, some have many friends;
Some lives just beginning, some are near the end.
Yet we come together knowing He is near,
Once again reminding us that love grows here!”
This timeless classic is by Don Besig.
“Today We are Called to Be Disciples” (VU #507)
“Today we all are called to be disciples of the Lord,
To help to set the captive free, make phoughshare out of sword,
To feed the hungry, quench their thirst, make love and peace our fast,
To serve the poor and homeless first, our ease and comfort last.
God made the world and at its birth ordained our human race
To live as stewards of the earth, responding to God’s grace.
But we are vain and sadly proud, we sow not peace but strife,
Our discord spreads a deadly cloud that threatens all of life.
Pray justice may come rolling down as in a mighty stream,
With righteousness in field and town to cleanse us and redeem.
For God is longing to restore an earth where conflicts cease,
A world that was created for a harmony of peace.
May we in service to our God act out the living Word,
And walk the road the saints have trod till all have seen and heard.
As stewards of the earth may we give thanks in one accord
To God who calls us all to be disciples of the Lord.”
This hymn was written for a stewardship campaign around the theme “Called to Be Disciples” in 1986. The themes of justice, creation, stewardship and service are particularly appropriate in our current age. The tune, NOEL, is an arrangement of an English traditional melody by Arthur Seymour Sullivan (commonly known as Sullivan of the operetta duo Gilbert and Sullivan.)