Notes on the Notes – September 1, 2019
First Sunday in the Season of Creation
Worship at Windsor Park United Church at 10:30 a.m.
This week’s music:
“Make a Joyful Noise” (VU #820)
Both the tune and text of this upbeat, joyful psalm are from Stickpeople (1992) by the Vancouver composer Linnea Good. The tune was arranged by David Kai of Gloucester, Ontario. The words are a setting of Psalm 100.
“Make a joyful noise all the earth!
Worship your God with gladness.
Make a joyful noise all the earth!
Come to this place with a song!
Know that your God has made you.
Know it’s to God we belong.
And come to this place with joyfulness and praise.
Worship your God with a song!
Enter these gates, thanks giving.
Enter these courts with praise.
Sing thanks to your God and bless the holy Name.
Worship your God with a song!
Ages through endless ages,
Seasons of endless years,
The love of our Maker ever shall endure.
Worship your God with a song!”
“All Things Bright and Beautiful” (VU #291)
“All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful
In love, God made them all.
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 splendour, 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.”
This classic text, from Cecil Frances Alexander’s Hymns for Little Children (1846), has become a cherished way of expressing our joy in God’s creation. The tune, ROYAL OAK, is an English traditional melody.
“It’s a Song of Praise to the Maker” (MV #30)
“It’s a song of praise to the Maker, the thrush sings high in the tree.
It’s a song of praise to the Maker, the gray whale sings in the sea,
And by the Spirit you and I can join our voice to the holy cry
And sing, sing, sing to the Maker too.
It’s a call of life to the Giver when waves and waterfalls roar.
It’s a call of life to the Giver when high tides break on the shore,
And by the Spirit…
It’s a hymn of love to the Lover; the bumblebees hum along.
It’s a hymn of love to the Lover, the summer breeze joins the song,
And by the Spirit…
It’s the chorus of all creation; it’s sung by all living things.
It’s the chorus of all creation; a song the universe sings,
And by the spirit…”
Ruth Duck and Ron Klusmeier collaborated on this song, which is based on Psalm 148. Ruth uses the Psalm as inspiration for this hymn, which encourages us to join with all creation to “sing, sing, sing to the Maker too.” It is a psalm which resounds with praise to the Lord God Almighty – the Creator of Heaven and the Earth. As the work of His hands, it is only right and proper that all of heaven and earth praise the Lord.
“This is God’s Wondrous World” (VU #296)
This hymn is often recognized as the old CGIT (Christian Girls in Training) hymn, altered for inclusiveness from the original “This is My Father’s World.” It has helped shaped the creation spirituality of many people. The text is adapted from a poem published in a collection of Maltbie Davenport Babcock’s work entitled Thoughts for Everyday Living (1901). The origin of the tune is unknown. It was adapted to the hymn text by Stanley Oliver, organist at St. James United in Montreal, in 1929 and the hymn was published in Songs of Worship (1930) and The Hymnary (1930).
“This is God’s wondrous world, and to my listening ears,
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is God’s wondrous world, I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas, God’s hand the wonders wrought.
This is God’s wondrous world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their maker’s praise.
This is God’s wondrous world. God shines in all that’s fair,
In the rustling grass or mountain pass, God’s voice speaks everywhere.
This is God’s wondrous world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong. God is the ruler yet.
This is God’s wondrous world: why should my heart be sad?
Let voices sing, O let the heavens ring! God reigns, let earth be glad.”
Hear an arrangement of this hymn tune at: https://youtu.be/OCKTYwjPhLs
Hear the song with saxophone and guitar at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7InRATds5k
“For the Gift of Creation” (VU #538)
“For the gift of creation, the gift of your love,
And the gift of the Spirit by which we live,
We thank you and give you the fruit of our hands.
May your grace be proclaimed by the gifts that we give.”
Our offering response is from the United Methodist Book of Worship (1991) and is especially appropriate as we enter the church season of Creation. The composer, Steve Garnaas-Holmes is a United Methodist pastor in Montana.
“Called by Earth and Sky” (MV #135)
“Called by earth and sky, promise of hope held high,
This is our sacred living trust,
Treasure of life sanctified,
Called by earth and sky.
Precious these waters, endless seas,
Deep ocean’s dream,
Waters of healing, rivers of rain,
The wash of love again.
Precious this gift, the air we breathe;
Wind born and free.
Breath of the Spirit, blow through this place,
Our gathering and our grace.
Precious these mountains, ancient sands;
Vast fragile land.
Seeds of our wakening, rooted and strong,
Creation’s faithful song.
Precious the fire that lights our way,
Bright dawning day.
Fire of passion, sorrows undone,
Our faith and justice one.
Called by earth and sky…”
This song by Pat Mayberry and Margaret Stubbington (2005) is a call to live with respect in Creation, celebrating the ancient tradition of the four elements: water, air, earth and fire.
Hear the song at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGIYVfEaATA
“Holy Spirit, Teach Us” (tune VU #117)
“Holy Spirit, teach us how to read the signs,
How to meet the challenge of our troubled times.
Love us into action, stir us into prayer,
Till we choose God’s life, and find our future there.”
We will be using these words as our benediction response during the season of Creation. The melody is the tune of the French carol, NOEL NOUVELET (15th century).