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Notes on the Notes – September 24, 2017

This week’s theme:

Jonah, Seriously?

This week’s scripture reading:

Jonah 3-4:11

This week’s music:

“God of the Bible” (MV #28) 

“God of the Bible, God in the Gospel,
Hope seen in Jesus, hope yet to come,

You are our centre, daylight or darkness, freedom or prison, you are our home.

God in our struggles, God in our hunger,
Suffering with us, taking our part,freshasthemorning_light

Still you empower us, mothering Spirit, feeding, sustaining, from your own heart.

Those without status, those who are nothing,
You have made royal, gifted with rights,

Chosen as partners, midwives of justice, birthing new systems, lighting new lights.

Not by your finger, not by your anger will our world order change in a day,
But by your people, fearless and faithful, small paper lanterns, lighting the way.

Hope we must carry, shining and certain through all our turmoil, terror and loss,
Bonding us gladly one to the other, till our world changes facing the Cross.

Fresh as the morning, sure as the sunrise,
God always faithful, you do not change.

Fresh as the morning, sure as the sunrise,
God always faithful, you do not change.”

This hymn was written by Shirley Erena Murray in 1995 and set to music by Tony E. Alonso in 2001.   The original title was Fresh as the Morning.  Through the hymn Murray emphasizes her confidence in God’s faithfulness and encourages us in our journey to make the world God’s kingdom.

Shirley Erena Murray (b. 1931) is a hymn text writer, born in Invercargill, New Zealand in 1931. Her texts have appeared in more than 100 collections worldwide and have been translated into several languages.  Her hymns and carols address a wide spectrum of themes ranging from the seasons of the Church year to human rights, care of creation, women’s concerns and above all, peace.

Hear the hymn sung by Worship and Music leaders at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSVCzqIK5bE

“Bless the Lord” (MV #46)

Bless the lord

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, bless God’s holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, bless God’s holy name.

Remember the kindness of our God, who showers us with blessing all our days.

Remember the justice of our God, who stands with those forgotten and confused.

Remember the healing love of God, who calls us to be whole and to be free.”

This song, based on Psalm 103, was “accidentally” written by a youth group praise band in 1994.   To hear the song go to, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1iMlNH8VG4

“You Can’t Hide From the Lord”

“Go to Nineveh, Jonah!” this word from God came down;
“And give them this announcement: God will destroy this town!”
“I can’t do that,” old Jonah thought; “I don’t know what to say.”
So Jonah got aboard a ship that went the other way.

As the ship was sailing and Jonah slept below,
A mighty wind picked up the ship and tossed it to and fro.
“Bring Jonah here,” the captain called; “How can he sleep and hide?
Tell him to cry out to his God and make the wind subside.”

Where are you going, Jonah?
The ship will sink with you aboard.
Why are you hiding, Jonah?
You can’t hide from the Lord!

Finally the men drew straws to find the culprit’s name.
When Jonah drew the shortest one, they knew he was to blame.
They had to throw him overboard because he disobeyed;
And all at once the ship was still when Jonah hit the waves.

Look all around you, Jonah;
You’re really in hot water, friend.
What will you do now, Jonah?
Oh this could be the end!

Now you can’t run and you can’t hide,
‘Cause you’ve been swallowed by the tide.
Jonah, you’ve gone overboard!
You can’t hide from the Lord!

This song by Tom Fettke and Linda Rebuck is the retelling of the Jonah story before Jonah is swallowed by the whale.   It was written in 1985.

“Open Your Ears” (VU #272)

“Open your ears, O faithful people,
Open your ears and hear God’s word.
Open your hearts, O faithful people,
God now speaks to you.

They who have ears to hear the message,
They who have ears, now let them hear.
They who would learn the way of wisdom,
Let them hear God’s word.

God has spoken to the people, hallelujah!
And those words are words of wisdom, hallelujah!”

Willard F. Jabusch is a faulty member at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois.  He wrote this song, based on the Tulmud, in 1985 for the traditional Hasidic melody.    The melody has been arranged by Richard Proulx, an American composer, organist and choir director.

“I Feel the Winds of God Today” (VU #625)

“I feel the winds of God today;
Today my sail I lift,
Though heavy oft with drenching spray and torn with many a rift;
If hope but light the water’s crest, and Christ my bark will use,
I’ll seek the seas at his behest, and brave another cruise.

It is the wind of God that dries my vain regretful tears,
Until with braver thoughts shall rise the purer, brighter years;
If cast on shores of selfish ease of pleasure I should be,
O let me feel your freshening breeze; and I’ll put back to sea.

If ever I forget your love and how that love was shown,
Lift high the blood-red flag above; it bears your name alone.
Great pilot of my onward way, you will not let me drift.
I feel the winds of God today; today my sail I lift.”

To read an on-line sermon by Jamie Howison on the meaning of the hymn go to:  http://stbenedictstable.ca/podcast/i-feel-the-winds-of-god-today/

Here is a quote from the sermon:

“I feel the winds of God today,” Jessie Adams wrote in her great hymn text. “Today my sail I lift.” Not just back then in the wildness of that first Pentecost; not just the Wesleyan revivals in England in the 1700s or in the Great Awakenings in America in the 18th and 19th centuries; not only on Azusa Street in Los Angeles in 1906. Today.  It is a hymn set to an old Irish folk tune, “Star of the County Down”, which is more than fitting because its imagery of setting out on the sea is one that evokes the stories and legends of the Celtic missionary saints of the 6th and 7th centuries who set sail trusting utterly that the winds of God would take them where they most needed to go. Most famous among those characters is Brendan the Navigator, whose little coracle was said to be equipped with a sail but no rudder by which to steer. He was simply prepared to go where the wind—where the Spirit—would take him.  The winds of God; and in both Hebrew and Greek the same word is used for spirit, wind, and breath. In Hebrew it is ruach, in the Greek of the New Testament it is pneuma. I feel the wind, the breath, the spirit of God, around me and in me and through me, and I welcome its presence as that which moves me, challenges me, presses me; that is the force of Adams’ hymn text.   (Source:  Saint Benedict’s Table)

Where are the “winds of God” sending you?

Hear the song at:  https://youtu.be/B_xNRKvurxA

Hear a guitar instrumental by Phil Keaggy at:  https://youtu.be/bKA-ByM-9gc

Bonus clip!

The “Be Compassionate” scene from the movie “Jonah: a Veggie Tales Movie” is a free interpretation of Jonah 4:7 – enjoy!  (Tip:  the first character seen is Jonah!)


Categories: Notes on the Notes