The Worship and Music Group took the line from Jesus’ lips, “the time is coming, and has now come, when you will worship in Spirit and in truth” (verse 23) as the inspiration for how we approached choosing our worship today.
Set Readings for today:
Jeremiah 15:15-21 – Jeremiah is sometimes regarded as “the miserable prophet,” and not without cause. But his was painful vocation, to stand alone and for God when it would have been so much easier to give in.
Romans 12:9-end – Gosh, it’s as if Paul wrote these words fresh for these times that we are going through. Such is Paul’s timeless call to a high standard of Christian love and vocation. And it is when the Church has sought to live out this vocation that it has stood out throughout history as the ambassador of the King. As Francis of Assisi used to say, “Go out and share the message of the Gospel to the four corners of the world, and if you have to, use words.”
Matthew 16:21:end – By powerful contrast, Jesus reminds us that even His best friend, Peter will fail all too easily in his task of following. And, so will we. That is why we have the Cross. But better to try and fall short, than not to try at all. Then in this way, our many little failures, our many little ‘deaths’ to self and to ego, will strangely not only make sense, but indeed become the path to understanding the Way of Love and the Way of the Cross.
Hymns and Songs for 12th Sunday after Trinity:
This week, in light of our Bible Reading, we chose to approach how we chose hymns and songs differently. Inspired by the verse “the time is coming, and has now come, when you will worship in Spirit and truth,” (John 4:23) we have sought to share with one another and with everyone else below, key hymns, songs and pieces of music that have truly spoken to us or inspired us in our own lives in the belief that here, by worshipping in Spirit and in truth, we meet with God Himself.
There is a lot of material here, and many stories, each worth exploring, each like a precious offering. Please enjoy and receive what is offered in the same Spirit in which it is shared.
“Dear Lord and Father of mankind” with Lyrics:
Ruth Wratten writes, “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” – Such meaningful words. “Drop Thy still dews of quietness till all our strivings cease.”
Ruth writes, “My song is Love unknown” – same reason. Powerful words.
“The Power of the Cross” by Stuart Townend with Lyrics:
Liz Chappell writes, “It’s an amazingly moving hymn, taking us movingly through the Passion story. Verses 4 and the Final chorus bring us directly into the magnificent drama
Oh to see MY name written in the wounds….. Death is crushed to death…. We stand forgiven at the Cross.
This always moves me to tears.”
Rosemary Bailey writes, “I sang this (O to see the dawn- the power of the cross) at a Stuart Townsend concert that Jan Martin invited me to. It was a pivotal moment as it brought home that this was truly “about me”
Singing “Oh, to see my name written on the cross” and “through Your suffering I am free” made me realise that I was included in this Grace & it set me on a different path of “being a Christian.”
(Around that time was also a very powerful sermon from Kay that affected me in a similar way)
“There is a hope that burns within my heart” with Lyrics:
Liz writes, “Hugh would like to nominate ‘There is a hope that burns within my heart. He says that he gets very excited about his faith when he hears it played on the Piano.”
Baz Nottage writes, “This version was sung by the college choir at the valedictory when I completed my theology course. I love the hope it brings, it reminds me that peace is found in still waters, a place Jesus leads me to. A place where he takes care of my needs, the struggle of this world being insignificant. In the tough points in my life I play this and I’m reminded that he is with me and this brings comfort. Then the best bit of all, knowing that I will dwell in the house of the Lord all my days. For myself, psalm 23 and this version is all about life and the friend we have in Jesus.
Kirsty writes, “This was always my favourite hymn at school and the hymn I sang solo for my audition to join the choir. It reminds us that God is everywhere-wherever we are, He is with us and we can find time to be still in His presence at any moment.”
Caz writes, “This one is from me this time. It is one that I used to love when I was much younger and the words always spoke to me about being one with each other and with Jesus. How through his healing hands we could all live together in his love.”
Kirsty writes, “Rapunzel sings of how she had never truly seen the world before leaving her tower, or finding love. I quoted this song in my application to Pioneer Ministry, ‘At last I see the light and it’s like the fog has lifted…All at once, everything is different, now that I see You.’ I used this to demonstrate how God fills one’s life with the purpose that He has for each of us and until we see that purpose, we can feel as if we’re stumbling in the dark. I also sang this as part of the first talk I gave at a Communion service, so I find it very poignant.”
Matt writes, “I still remember when I first saw this film it spoke so powerfully of the struggle ordinary men and women face and who are so easily forgotten. Pete Potherswaite for me was, and is epic – the dignity, the passion and the fragility. Very powerful. The film is brilliant and is still available on DVD from Amazon or on Amazon Prime.
And here a more traditional version by the Spanish guitarist and singer Jose Feliciano who is just incredible and plays purely by ear as he was blind since birth. My wife Jan particularly loves this version. Such a talented outpouring of pure artistry and spirit. His flamenco guitar playing at the end is well, breathtaking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZyPVzN4oyY
“Boldly I approach” a powerful reflective song from Rend Collective – speaking out the message of the Samaritan woman after meeting Jesus her Messiah, and ours. Lyrics version thanks to Rend Collective – one of the few bands to allow Churches to use their music as part of Livestream services): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx94Fg4qZr8
Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic:
The epic version sung in Jesus’ own language Aramaic, sung here before Pope Francis by the Cathedral in Georgia. Apparently, the strength of the male voice reminded him of the human spirit in prayer, while the clarity of the young girl’s voice which begins and ends the song reminded him of the voice of the Spirit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=locW-9S00VU
Matt writes, “all I know is pretty much every time I watch and listen to this video it makes the hairs on the back of my neck tingle. Although it is so different to so much else I listen to, there is something about it which speaks almost from another place.”
Jen Nottage writes, “Charlotte and Hayley’s worship song is” Trust in you” by Lauren Daigle. They have chosen this song because “when God doesn’t answer prayers the way you want Him to, we have to trust that there is a bigger picture. This helps us through life in general.”
Gemma Stocker writes, “This song has such a Beautiful message that the we are all children of God and how God is with us on our journey of life and when we feel pain we don’t have to fear as God has given us this perfect love. The tune is rocky and I think is such a modern Christian song that would appeal to young Christians. I was introduced to this song while working on a Salvation Army Christian camp last summer in America and whenever I hear it, it reminds me of my time and also the children I looked after.”
Matt writes, “I still remember when I first heard and saw Stormzy’s video of his original live recording. It was so moving, we played it at the Congresbury Carol Service that year and I remember people came up to me afterwards in tears – the truth of Christmas makes the story and hope of this wonderful song real.
And, of course, “Amazing Grace” the original hymn from which so many versions have been recorded, and is still the most requested and popular hymn, ever. Here again the much appreciated version of 50 countries during this time of Lockdown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA7pdABvpnc
From the BBC iPlayer – “The Gospel according to Mica: the story of Gospel Music in six songs” – with Mica Paris – excellent insight into the soul of Gospel Music and into the importance of Hope against the backdrop of injustice and the discrimination of racism. But even more than that, the story of hope and healing over pain, suffering and injustice. I watched it again on Friday evening and it is truly inspirational. (Only available till Tuesday 1st Sept)
“Shechem: a visit to the place of Jacob’s well and where the woman at the well story took place” – this video by an Australian pastor for a Mexican Mission helps to show many of the sites of this difficult to access place, which today is called Nablus, and is deep in the West Bank. Next time though, when we go to Israel? Enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v81pj8__ZqA&feature=youtu.be