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Notes on the Notes – September 13, 2020

Creation 1

Do We Dare Enter the Sea?

Exodus 14:19-31

This week’s music:

“Praise God for This Holy Ground” (MV #42)

“Praise God for this holy ground, place and people, sight and sound.

Praise God in whose word we find food for body, soul and mind.

Praise God who through Christ makes known all are loved and called God’s own.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
God’s goodness is eternal.”

This song offers praise and gratitude for God’s goodness.  We celebrate the places where worship can take place and the people who gather in spirit with us to worship.  We proclaim the word of God and the teachings of Jesus that sustain us.  This hymn was written by John L. Bell in 2002. This week we will be singing the first 3 verses.

“How Firm a Foundation” (VU #660)

“How firm a foundation, you servants of God,
Is laid for your faith in God’s excellent word!
What more can be said than to you has been said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

‘Fear not, I am with you; O be not dismayed!
For I am your God and will still give you aid;
I’ll strengthen and help you, and cause you to stand,
Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand.’

When through the deep waters I call you to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with you, your troubles to bless,
And sanctify to you your deepest distress.’

The text for this hymn is from A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors, published in 1787.  The author, known only as “K,” may have been Richard Keen.  Through the hymn the author states his faith in the sureness of God’s ever-present help and protection through all of the trials of life.  The hymn-writer refers to finding sanctuary in Jesus Christ, but also speaks of the “deep waters,”  possibly referring to the story of the Israelites from the Book of Exodus.  The tune, ST. DENIO, is a traditional Welsh melody adapted into a hymn tune during the Welsh revivals at the turn of the 19th century.  It is most familiar for its use by Ralph Vaughan Williams with the hymn “Immortal, Invisible.” This week we will be singing the first three verses of the hymn.

Hear the hymn played on organ at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGso6dZAg0U

“Do We Dare?”

This song was written for the 42nd General Council of the United Church of Canada, held in Corner Brook, Newfoundland in 2015.  In the verses, Wanda Stride challenges us to question the choices we make as our faith/church changes and adapts and as we strive to be God’s faithful people.  She connects us to the biblical story and the risks that faithful people have always had to make by referring to the stories of Creation, Moses, Abraham, and Jesus’ life and ministry.  The chorus is the affirmation of our choice as we face the future –  “Yes, me and my house, we dare to serve the Lord!”

“Do we dare eat the produce of the hills?Do we dare
Do we dare touch the gifts of the earth?
Do we dare dip our feet in the oil?
Do we dare try God’s new thing?
Do we dare?

Do we dare see the spring inside the rock?
Do we dare count the stars overhead?
Do we dare cross the river into promise?
Do we dare try God’s new thing?
Do we dare?

Do we dare let the grain die in winter?
Do we dare feel the sun once again?
Do we dare spread the seed in a new place?
Do we dare try God’s new thing?
Do we dare?

As for me and my house we serve the Lord!
Let the soles of our feet touch the rivers we ford.
Baptism blessings for our new beginnings,
Yes, me and my house, we dare to serve the Lord!”

“God of Grace and God of Glory” (VU #686)

“God of grace and God of glory, on your people pour your power;
Now fulfill your church’s story; bring its bud to glorious flower.
Grand us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour.
For the facing of this hour.

Lo, the hosts of evil round us scorn your Christ, assail your ways;
Fears and doubts too long have bound us, free our hearts to work and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the living of these days,
For the living of these days.

Set our feet on lofty places, gird our lives that they may be
Armoured with all Christ-like graces, pledged to set all captives free.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, that we fail not them nor thee.
That we fail not them nor thee.”

The words for this hymn were written by Harry Emerson Fondick in 1930.  This hymn again asks God to be with us as we move through the trials and challenges of these days, granting us wisdom and courage.  We will be singing the hymn using the familiar tune, CWM RHONDDA (VU #651).

See the hymn sung in worship at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsDVt2CpgVo 

“Travel On” (VU #647)

“Travel on, travel on, there’s a spirit that is flowing,
A spirit that is flowing night and day.
Travel on, travel on, with the spirit that is flowing,
The spirit will be with us all the way.
Travel on, travel on, with the spirit that is flowing,
The spirit will be with us all the way.

Throughout this season of Creation we will be following the story of Exodus, the story of a people leaving the known for the unknown.  Our benediction response is by the well-known British folk singer, Sydney Carter.  It was written in 1969.

To Ponder: 

Do you consider yourself to be a free person?  Why or why not?

Categories: Notes on the Notes