Notes on the Notes – September 15, 2013
Today’s scripture: 1 Timothy 1:12-17 – Paul’s call to serve
Luke 15:1-10 – The parables of the persistent shepherd and persistent housewife
“Come in, Come in and Sit Down” (VU #395) – This family song became known to United Church congregations in the arrangement made by Darryl Nixon for Songs for a Gospel People (1987). Singer songwriter James K. Manley, the composer of this hymn, is a minister in the United Church of Christ (USA). “Part of the Family” reminds both members and visitors that our congregation is an open, diverse group that welcomes people of all ages, every marital status, and all views, interest levels, and stages in the faith journey. As the first two verses state:
“You know the reason why you came, yet no reason can explain, so share in the laughter and cry in the pain, for we are a part of the family.
God is with us in this place, like a mother’s warm embrace. We’re all forgiven by God’s grace, for we are a part of the family.”
“Come, Let Us Sing of a Wonderful Love” (VU #574) – This hymn was written by Robert Walmsley, a jeweler in Manchester and a Congregationalist leader of the Manchester Sunday School Union, in 1900. Adam Watson’s WONDERFUL LOVE is the tune known to Canadian congregations for Robert Walmsley’s text. The hymn leads us from the eternal love of God for us, through the coming of Jesus, who tells of us God’s love and searches for the lost, to the yearning for God’s continuing love. For the lyrics to this hymn, go to http://www.pateys.nf.ca/cgi-bin/lyrics.pl?hymnnumber=706.
“A Woman and a Coin – the Coin is Lost” (VU 360) – This text by Jaroslav J. Vajda (1990) is a meditation on three parables of Jesus, and the power of God to save the lost. The tune was written by Fred Kimball Graham (1995) specifically for the text.
“A woman and a coin – the coin is lost! How much it means to her, what time and toil, what part it was to play in her bright dreams! Am I that treasured coin worth searching for? I’m found, and you rejoice! What love! What love!
A shepherd and a sheep – the sheep is lost! Far from the flock, the one in hundred cries, then risking life, the shepherd’s voice and staff! Am I that treasured sheep worth dying for? I live, and you rejoice! What love! What love!
A parent and a child – the child is lost! The parent feeds on memories and hope, the prodigal on husks and one last chance. Am I that treasured child worth waiting for? I’m home, and you rejoice! What love! What love!
Dear God, you sought us when the world was lost, you gave your only son at what a cost; your spirit welcomes home the tempest-tossed: now we can be all you were dreaming of. We’re safe, and you rejoice! What love! What love!
“Song of Fellowship” – Today’s anthem by Don Besig and Nancy Price reminds us of the sense of community and relationship we find when gathered together as a church family.
“Grant Us, God, the Grace of Giving” (VU #540) – The text of our offering response comes from the Mennonite hymn book, “Hymnal: a Worship Book.” The tune is a familiar one which is also used for the Advent hymn “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” (VU #2).
“O God Who Shaped Creation” (VU 276) -The text of this hymn traces the story of creation, fall, and redemption and reflects deeply on the nature of God and God’s relationship to the earth and the human condition. This hymn was commissioned for the United Methodist Hymnal (1989) in the United States and was written by William Watkins Reid Jr. Today we will be using the tune AURELIA from VU #331, (“The Church’s One Foundation”) which was composed by Samuel Sebastian Wesley, grandson of Charles Wesley.
“O God, who shaped creation at earth’s chaotic dawn, your word of power was spoken, and lo! the dark was gone! You framed us in your image, you brought us into birth, you blessed our infant footsteps and shared your splendoured earth.
O God, with pain and anguish a mother sees her child embark on dead-end pathways, alluring, but defiled; so too your heart is broken when hate and lust increase, when worlds you birthed and nurtured spurn ways that lead to peace.
Although your heart is broken when people scorn your ways, you never cease your searching through evil’s tangled maze; and when we cease our running, your joys, O God, abound as of a searching woman when treasured coin is found.
In mercy and compassion your goodness is revealed; with tenderness you touch us, and broken hearts are healed. You claim us as your children, you strip our prideful shame; with freedom born of mercy we bless your holy name!”
“Send Us Out” – This commissioning song was composed by Ruth Fazal (1993). “Listening for His voice is the most important thing for us to be doing. I believe that there is a realm that the Lord is wanting to bring us into, in which we will begin to see with a ‘Kingdom of God’ perspective as Jesus taught. I feel sure that it is on God’s heart to bring us there, and in that place, for us to come to a greater understanding of who He is, and of who we are in Him. It is time for the Church to be functioning as real citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. This is what I am giving my heart to! I want to learn how to live that way” – Ruth Fazal. January 2010