Notes on the Notes – September 3, 2017
This week’s theme:
Who are We?
This week’s scripture readings:
Romans 12:9-21 Matthew 16:21-28
This week’s music:
“Praise with Joy the World’s Creator” (VU #312)
This new text in praise of the Trinity was written for an anniversary conference of the World Student Christian Federation held at Edinburgh in 1985 by the Iona Community. It brings fresh insights to the understanding of the Godhead. In verse one we offer praise to the Creator, “God of justice, love and peace…” Verse two celebrates “Christ’s constant presence: friend and stranger, guest and host.” In verse three, the hymn offers praise to the Spirit, “sent among us, liberating truth from pride…” The final verse brings all three together into the Trinity, “calling Christians to embody oneness and diversity.” The music LAUDA ANIMA (PRAISE MY SOUL) was composed by John Goss, organist at St. Paul’s Cathdral in London, in 1868. The tune is most well-known as the tune for the hymn, “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven.”
“Praise with joy the world’s Creator,
God of justice, love, and peace,
Source and end of human knowledge,
God whose grace shall never cease.
Celebrate the Maker’s glory,
Power to rescue and release.
Praise to Christ who feeds the hungry,
Frees the captive, finds the lost,
Heals the sick, upsets religion,
Fearless both of fate and cost.
Celebrate Christ’s constant presence:
Friend and stranger, guest and host.
Praise the Spirit sent among us,
Liberating truth from pride,
Forging bonds where race or gender,
Age or nation dare divide.
Celebrate the Spirit’s treasure:
Foolishness none dare deride.
Praise the Maker, Christ, and Spirit,
One God in community,
Calling Christians to embody
Oneness and diversity.
This the world shall see reflected:
God is One and One in Three.”
Watch an organ solo of this hymn tune at: https://youtu.be/Q5VkuRqUA0Y
“God is Here” (VU #389)
“God is here! As we your people meet to offer praise and prayer,
May we find in fuller measure what it is in Christ we share.
Here, as in the world around us, all our varied skills and arts
Wait the coming of the Spirit into open minds and hearts.
Here are symbols to remind us of our lifelong need of grace;
Here are table, font, and pulpit,
Here the cross has central place.
Here in honesty of preaching,
Here in silence, as in speech,
Here, in newness and renewal,
God the Spirit comes to each.
Here our children find a welcome in the Shepherd’s flock and fold;
Here as bread and wine are taken, Christ sustains us, as of old.
Here the servants of the Servant seek in worship to explore
What it means in daily living to believe and to adore.
God of all, of church and kingdom, in an age of change and doubt
Keep us faithful to the gospel; help us work your purpose out.
Here, in this day’s dedication, all we have to give, receive;
We, who cannot live without you, we adore you! We believe!”
Fred Pratt Green wrote the words for this hymn for the closing of an eight month church festival on worship, music and the arts at University Methodist Church in Austin, Texas in 1978. The third verse celebrates the sacraments of baptism and communion and the commitment to serve God daily. The closing verse reminds us of our search for understanding in today’s complicated world, closing with the affirmation that, through it all, “We believe!” William Rowlands composed the tune BLAENWERN during the Welsh revival of 1904-05.
Hear the melody played on pipe organ at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0rAtG4vCpQ
“There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” (VU #271)
“There’s a wideness in God’s mercy like the wideness of the sea;
There’s a kindness in God’s justice which is more than liberty.
There is no place where earth’s sorrows are more felt than up in heaven;
There is no place where earth’s failings have such gracious judgement given.
There is plentiful redemption in the blood that Christ has shed;
There is joy for all the members in the sorrows of the Head.
Troubled souls, why will you scatter like a crowd of frightened sheep?
Foolish hearts, why will you wander from a love so true and deep?
For the love of God is broader that the measures of the mind,
And the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.”
This hymn is based on a poem by F.W. Faber, a 19th-century Anglican priest who converted to Roman Catholicism (1854). The tune we will be using is GOTT WILL’S MACHEN, by the 18th-century Swiss composer, Johann Ludwig Steiner. Hear the tune on pipe organ at: https://youtu.be/rndo8V2u0hc
“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.
“Be the Centre”
“Jesus, be the Centre, be my source, be my light, Jesus.
Jesus, be the Centre, be my hope be my song, Jesus.
Be the fire in my heart, be the wind in these sails, be the reason that I live, Jesus, Jesus.
Jesus, be my vision, be my path, be my guide, Jesus…”
The contemporary Christian song is by Michael Frye, of Vineyard Music UK. It was written in 1999. To hear the song, go to: https://youtu.be/MERQ0P6O0CE
“May the God of Hope Go With Us” (VU #424)
The first verse of this hymn was written in 1984 by Alvin Schutmaat, an American Presbyterian musician, theologian, and educator who taught in South America and Mexico. An educator, theologian and administrator, he used the arts to communicate the gospel. “May the God of Hope” is a song of blessing, justice and peace. Verse 2 is by Fred Kaan, a hymn writer and a leader in ecumenical church development. The tune is an Argentine folk melody chosen by Alvin Schutmaat for his text.
“May the God of hope go with us every day,
filling all our lives with love and joy and peace.
May the God of justice speed us on our way,
bringing light and hope to every land and race.
Praying, let us work for peace, singing, share our joy with all,
working for a world that’s new, faithful when we hear Christ’s call.
May the God of healing free the earth from fear,
freeing us for peace, both treasured and pursued.
May the God of love keep our commitment clear
to a world restored, to human life renewed.”