Notes on the Notes – September 22, 2019
Christ and Creation
This week’s Scripture readings:
Proverbs 8:22-31 John 6:41-51
This week’s music:
“All Praise to God”
“All praise to God who dwells within:
The center of all things,
Who loves and laughs and gives us joy,
Whose world with glory sings.
All praise to Christ who sets us free
To love and recreate
The fullness of the gospel song,
The pow’r to liberate.
All praise to Wisdom: Spirit God
Who births our hopes and dreams,
Who nurtures life and dignity
Through nations’ woven seams.
Ours is the challenge to respond
With courage and delight;
To walk in oneness with our God
And strive for what is right.”
As we start our time of worship, we are reminded of the trinity: God – Creator, Christ – Liberator, and Spirit – Wisdom.
“The Play of the Godhead” (MV #43)
“The play of the Godhead, the Trinity’s dance,
Embraces the earth in a sacred romance:
With God the Creator, and Christ the true Son,
Entwined with the Spirit, a web daily spun
In spangles of myst’ry the great Three-in-One.
The warm mists of summer, cool waters that flow,
Turn crystal as ice when the wintry winds blow.
The taproot that nurtures, the shoot growing free,
The life-giving fruit, full and ripe on the tree:
More mystic and wondrous, the great One-in-Three.
In God’s gracious image of coequal parts,
We gather as dancers, uniting our hearts.
Men, women, and children, and all living things,
We join in the round of bright nature that rings
With rapture and rhythm: Creation now sings!”
This hymn was written by Mary Louise Bringle in 2000. The music was written by Robert J. Batastini in 2003. The lyrics continue the theme of seeing the Trinity of God in the natural world.
“When the galaxies were forming,
Planets born from clouds of dust,
Wisdom moved across the heaven,
Shaping stars and nebula.
Wisdom drew the mist away,
At the dawning of earth’s day.
Wisdom comes to bring us insight,
Clarity we’re slow to seek.
Wisdom’s words are heard in stillness,
When we pause to hear her speak.
Wisdom’s love will never cease;
Wisdom draws us into peace.
Wisdom leads us into wholeness,
As she calls us each by name.
Though we choose a lesser pathway,
Wisdom loves us still the same.
Wisdom speaks! We hear her call;
Into God, she draws us all.”
Helen Wiltshire wrote the words for this hymn in 2011. It is a reflection on verses from Proverbs, Job, Sirach and the Psalms, and gives us more insight about Wisdom’s role in Creation. This week, we will be using the tune IRBY, better known as the tune for the Christmas carol, “Once in Royal David’s City.”
“The Earth is the Lord’s”
“The earth is the Lord’s and its fullness is granted to us as a trust
To cherish, protect and to care for, and give the respect that we must.
For all of our world then is sacred, the source of the life that it feeds.
Each forest and marsh has a purpose, there’s breath of divine in each seed.
God lends us the sun and the water and soil to give bountiful yields,
But much is reserved for the wealthy, while hunger is still not repealed.
Why are we at odds with our planet, consuming far more than we need?
But greed or indifference blinds us, and nature continues to bleed.
What’s left for the next generation, when finite resources are drained;
When earth is defiled by its people and widespread extinctions profane?
Our garbage pollutes distant oceans, our tailpipes promote climate harm.
Must remedies wait on our neighbours; will we remain deaf to alarms?
For progress to have lasting value, our actions must be what sustains
The health and the balance of nature; as stewards, we tend God’s domain.
So use this inheritance wisely and learn to live amply with less.
Then keep this eighth day of Creation a covenant bond we can bless.”
This week’s anthem is by Allan Baer. Written in 2013, these powerful words prod us, as people of faith, to acknowledge our part in the environmental planetary crisis and move forward in taking steps to consider our own actions in faithful solutions.
“God Who Spread the Boundless Prairie” (MV #53)
“God who spread the boundless prairie when the ancient oceans died;
Brought to birth the tribes and nations born in dignity and pride;
Now as one we seek your spirit, reaching for your loving hand,
Called by you our great Creator, sharing in this sacred land.
God who came to us in Jesus, loved us, suffered, died and rose;
Guide us well and give us wisdom as the pace of knowledge grows.
Lord remind us when you call us to decisions, ways unknown,
Once for always you have promised that we do not walk along.
God who forms a diverse people, call us to a common task,
Grace and strength you freely give us when in prayer we humbly ask.
Races, genders, you have made us different, yet your great intent
Joins us in one loving Saviour, sharing Word and Sacrament.
God who raised our rolling foothills crowned with mountain peaks beyond;
Call us now to love and serve you, joyfully will we respond.
God whose glory past and present lights us on our future way,
Now baptize us with your spirit, build tomorrow’s church today.”
This prayer for unity and purpose was written by Herbert O’Driscoll (2002), with music by Judith Snowdon (2006).