Worship Notes, 8.16.2020

Posted by on Aug 16, 2020 in Uncategorized | No Comments
At rest on the French Broad River, Arden, NC. Photo taken by Christian McIvor.

“Suite No. 2 in D Major” (HV 341), by George Frideric Handel, 1733

This suite for trumpet and keyboard accompaniment consists of five short movements composed for baroque dance.  The movements might be imagined as bringing us through the jubilee cycle referenced in Leviticus 25.  Movement 1, “Overture,” has a steady, bouncy feel that can be likened to the regular cadence of our everyday work lives.  Movement 2, “Gigue,” with its faster tempo and tiptoe-like style that almost seems to spiral out of control at times, helps us recognize that as the pace of our work lives increases, rest is needed.  This comes with movement 3, which, with its lullaby-like tempo and style, seems to settle us into the “complete rest” we are called to observe for both ourselves and the land in the sabbath day and year (Exod. 20:8-10; Lev. 25:1-7).  The final two movements, “March (Bourrée)” and “March,” played in a stately and majestic style, aurally represent the glory to be found in the jubilee year, when “you shall have the trumpet sounded loud… throughout all your land… and you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants” (Lev. 25:9-10).

“For the Beauty of the Earth,” DIX, Text: Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, 1864, alt.; Music: Conrad Kocher, 1838; abr. William Henry Monk, 1861, harm. The English Hymnal, 1906 

In the course of many revisions, the original eucharistic emphasis of this text has shifted to a hymn of thanksgiving for a wide range of human experience, with a Christological summation.  DIX is the tune that is customarily used for this text in North America, though not elsewhere.  The text reminds us to be thankful for the various rhythms of creation as well as our ability to perceive and experience it all. 

Text:

1 For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies:

Refrain:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

2 For the wonder of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light: (Refrain)

3 For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and mind’s delight,
for the mystic harmony
linking sense to sound and sight: (Refrain)

4 For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth, and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild: (Refrain)

5 For thyself, best gift divine
to the world so freely given;
for that great, great love of thine,
peace on earth and joy in heaven: (Refrain)

Public Domain

“Earth: Beloved Community,” by Christian McIvor, 2018

“Earth: Beloved Community” was written as the theme song for the Alliance of Baptists annual 2018 gathering of the same name in Dayton, OH.  With a focus on creation justice, the lyrics speak to the need for us to be conscious of how we treat our planet and each other, as “we will reap just what we sow.”  Let us remember that part of treating “every neighbor with love and with grace” and caring “for our planet from the land to the sea” is listening to God and allowing for the necessary, holy patterns of rest that allow all of life to flourish “in creation’s unity.”

Lyrics:

Through seasons of drought and seasons of rain,
Will we be weakened, or will we sustain?
We will reap just what we sow.

As the heavens drip and the gardens sprout,
The mountains quake and the stones cry out.
Let Your rivers of justice flow.

We will treat every neighbor with love and with grace
As we share the same journey through time and through space,
We will care for our planet from the land to the sea,                   
Connected in creation’s unity, 
Here on Earth: beloved community.

As the storms, they surge, and the temperatures rise,
And the people in power put truth in disguise,
We’ll stay rooted in the vine.

Our love will not fail, compassion won’t cease – 
Interconnected as agents of peace – 
As our hearts, in You, align.

We will treat every neighbor with love and with grace
As we share the same journey through time and through space,
We will care for our planet from the land to the sea,                   
Connected in creation’s unity, 
Here on Earth: beloved community.

We will treat every neighbor with love and with grace
As we share the same journey through time and through space,
We will care for our planet from the land to the sea,                   
Connected in creation’s unity, 
Here on Earth: beloved community,

Here on Earth: beloved community.

©Christian McIvor, 4/21/18

Resources for this article: Glory to God: Hymns, Psalms, & Spiritual Songs, 2013, Westminster John Knox Press