Sermon

Sixth After Pentecost

Sunday, Jul. 12, 2020

Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Rev. Rob Metcalf – “We Are the Image of God”
Eleanor Daley, Director of Music
Mezzo Soprano – Andrea Ludwig

 

 

Scripture Reading: Genesis 1:26-28
Read by Sue Metcalf

 

Prelude Canticle to the Spirit         E. Daley (1997)
Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir Women

Holy Spirit, giving life to all life,
Root of all things, washing them clean,
Wiping out their mistakes, healing all their wounds.
You are our true life, luminous, wonderful,
Awakening the heart from its ancient sleep.
(Hildegard of Bingen, 1098-1179)

 

Opening Hymn Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
To his feet thy tribute bring;
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Who like thee his praise should sing?
Praise him, praise him, praise him, praise him,
Praise the everlasting King.

Praise him for his grace and favour
To our forebears in distress;
Praise him, still the same forever,
Slow to chide and swift to bless;
Praise him, praise him, praise him, praise him,
Glorious in his faithfulness.

Father-like he tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame he knows;
In his hands he gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes;
Praise him, praise him, praise him, praise him,
Widely as his mercy flows.

Angels, help us to adore him,
Ye behold him face to face;
Sun and moon bow down before him:
Dwellers all in time and space,
Praise him, praise him, praise him, praise him,
Praise with us the God of grace.
(Henry Francis Lyte, 1793-1847)

 

Song of Faith  Humanity

We sing of God the Creator, who made humans to live and move and have their being in God. In and with God, we can direct our lives toward right relationship with each other and with God. We can discover our place as one strand in the web of life. We can grow in wisdom and compassion. We can recognize all people as kin. We can accept our mortality and finitude, not as a curse, but as a challenge to make our lives and choices matter.

Made in the image of God, we yearn for the fulfillment that is life in God. Yet we choose to turn away from God. We surrender ourselves to sin, a disposition revealed in selfishness, cowardice or apathy. Becoming bound in a web of false desires and wrong choices, we bring harm to ourselves and others. This brokenness in human life and community is an outcome of sin. Sin is not only personal but accumulates to become habitual and systemic forms of injustice, violence and hatred. We are all touched by this brokenness: the rise of selfish individualism that erodes human solidarity; the concentration of wealth and power without regard for the needs of all; the toxins of religious and ethnic bigotry; the degradation of the blessedness of human bodies and human passions through sexual exploitation; the delusion of unchecked progress and limitless growth that threatens our home, the earth; the covert despair that lulls many into numb complicity with empires and systems of domination. We sing lamentation and repentance.

Yet evil does not – cannot – undermine or overcome the love of God.

God forgives and calls all of us to confess our fears and failings with honesty and humility. God reconciles, and calls us to repent the part we have played in damaging our world, ourselves and each other. God transforms, and calls us to protect the vulnerable, to pray for deliverance from evil, to work with God for the healing of the world, that all might have abundant life. We sing of grace.

The fullness of life includes moments of unexpected inspiration and courage lived out, experiences of beauty, truth, and goodness, blessings of seeds and harvest, friendship and family, intellect and sexuality, the reconciliation of persons through justice and communities living in righteousness. And the articulation of meaning.

 

Anthem The Image of God         Craig Courtney (b. 1948)

In the beginning God shaped and formed me.
I am skillfully and wonderfully made.
I am the image of my Creator.
In every part of me His likeness is displayed.

Life flows from life, and love from loving;
Gifts of the Father by nature and by grace.
A heart made glad, a soul unshaken;
Unbounded joy, in every breath a song of praise.

For His own purpose, God shaped and formed me.
I am His; I have a place within His plan.
I am the image of my Creator.
My past and future are secure within His hand.

Life flows from life, and love from loving;
Gifts of the Father by nature and by grace.
A heart made glad, a soul unshaken;
Unbounded joy, in every breath a song of praise.
(Susan Bentall Boersma)

 

 

 

 

Hymn Blest Be the Tie That Binds

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love,
The fellowship of kindred hearts
Is like to that above.

We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear,
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

From sorrow, toil, and pain,
And sin, we shall be free;
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.
(John Fawcett, 1782)

 

Anthem You are Wonderfully Made         Pepper Choplin (b. 1957)

You are wonderfully made.
You are God’s creation.
Let no one bring you down by what they say.
You are wonderfully made.

Remember that you’re a child of God,
Part of God’s creation.
So when you feel that you are weak and flawed,
Remember that you’re a child of God.

Love your neighbour as yourself,
The commandment still holds true.
But how can we love someone else
If we never learn to love ourselves?

You are wonderfully made.
You are God’s creation.
Let no one bring you down by what they say.
You are wonderfully made.

You’re a child of God,
You are wonderfully made,
You’re a child of God.
(Pepper Choplin, based on Psalm 139:14
and Luke 10:27)

 

Closing Hymn O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing

O for a thousand tongues to sing
My dear Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!

Jesus! the Name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease,
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
‘Tis life and health and peace.

He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.

He speaks, and, listening to His voice,
New life the dead receive,
The mournful broken hearts rejoice,
The humble poor believe.

Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb,
Your loosened tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Saviour come;
And leap, ye lame, for joy.

My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
And spread through all the earth abroad
The honours of Thy Name.
(Charles Wesley, 1707-1788)

 

Benediction

God is our strength and protector
Do not be afraid or draw back
Accept life’s challenges
And live with courage and hope. Amen.

 

Postlude Celtic Blessing         Kevin Siegfried (b. 1969)

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be ever at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rain fall soft upon your fields;
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
(Traditional Irish)

 

This morning’s anthems are reprinted under onelicense.net #A-717945. The Image of God – words by Susan Bentall Boersma, © 2015 Beckenhorst Press, Inc. You are Wonderfully Made – words by Pepper Choplin, © 2013 Lorenz Publishing Co. All rights reserved.

 

♪ Music notes ♪

Canticle to the Spirit was commissioned by music directors Bill and Eva Bettger for the Primary and Junior Choirs of Colborne Street United Church, London, Ontario.

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, poet, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath. She is one of the best-known composers of the Middle Ages, as well as the most-recorded in modern history. There are more surviving chants by Hildegard than by any other composer from the entire Middle Ages, and she is one of the few known composers to have written both the music and the words. She has also been considered by many in Europe to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany.

Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) was an Anglican minister, hymnodist, and poet. He was born in Scotland, of English parentage. After abandoning his intention to study medicine, he studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and with very limited training for the ministry, he took Anglican holy orders in 1815. Lyte was described as “slightly eccentric but of great personal charm, a man noted for his wit and human understanding, a born poet and an able scholar.” He was also an expert flute player and spoke Latin, Greek, and French. Lyte’s two most well known hymn texts are Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven and Abide with Me.

Craig Courtney (b. 1948) is an internationally-renowned choral composer, arranger, pianist, accompanist, clinician, and choir director. A native of Indiana, he began playing the piano at the age of three and the cello at the age of eleven, and received a Bachelors and a Masters degree in piano performance at the University of Cincinnati. Following a three-year stay in Milan, Italy, where he studied the piano and worked extensively as a vocal coach, he was invited to join the music faculty of the famed Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. It was during this period, while serving in the music ministry of the Salzburg International Baptist Church, that Courtney began directing a church choir and composing sacred choral music, due to the unavailability of English language music.

Susan Bentall Boersma was born and educated in Michigan and began her study of music with her parents, both of whom were performing artists. Her piano/organ/voice studies continued while attending Hope College. She has served as accompanist for college choirs and touring groups as well as for various solo artists and community choirs; has led workshops on music and worship, and has held positions as pianist, choral director and director of music ministries at churches in Michigan, Wisconsin, Vermont and Ohio. Susan often collaborates as a lyricist with composers Craig Courtney, Lloyd Larson and Mark Hayes, to name a few – on both sacred and school repertoire.

John Fawcett (1740-1817) was a British theologian, pastor and hymn writer. In 1762, he joined the Methodists, but three years later he united with the Baptist Church and became pastor of Wainsgate Baptist Church in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Fawcett served there for seven years, despite a small income and a growing family. When he received a call in 1772 to the large and influential Carter’s Lane Baptist Church in London, he planned to accept the call. But at the last minute he changed his mind, and remained at Wainsgate. To commemorate this event, in 1782 he wrote the words to Blest Be the Tie That Binds – his most famous hymn by far.

Pepper Choplin (b. 1957) is a full-time composer, conductor and humorist. He has gained a reputation as one of the most creative writers in church music today. With a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, he went on to earn a Master of Music degree in composition from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Much of Pepper’s creative energy goes into planning creative and vibrant worship for Greystone Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC where he is Minister of Music. Many of his anthems are born out of a need at his own church. Pepper’s chief desire is “to create music that will lead people to worship in a dramatic way.”

Charles Wesley (1707-1788) was an English leader of the Methodist movement, most widely known for writing about 6,500 hymn texts. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, and after graduating with a master’s degree in classical languages and literature, Charles followed his father and brother into Anglican orders in 1735. He was a younger brother of Methodist founder John Wesley, and Anglican cleric Samuel Wesley the Younger, the father of musician Samuel Wesley, and the grandfather of musician Samuel Sebastian Wesley.

Kevin Siegfried (b. 1969) is an American choral composer, director, and clinician. Siegfried earned his B.A. in piano from Antioch College, his M.A. in theory and composition from the University of Iowa, and his D.M.A. in composition from New England Conservatory. He then completed additional studies in France through the European American Musical Alliance. Since 2014, Siegfried has been composer-in-residence with the Capitol Hill Chorale in Washington, D.C., and is a Professor of Theatre, and Coordinator of Theory and New Works at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

Music Sources:

Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven https://youtu.be/sx1eMwlDFb8
The Image of God Craig Courtney https://www.beckenhorstpress.com/content/mp3/bp2054-the-image-of-god.mp3
Blest Be the Tie That Binds https://youtu.be/e8lBbDf5fEI
You are Wonderfully Made Pepper Choplin https://youtu.be/cnjsRXkSPq4
O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing https://youtu.be/jbiQ17uulKU
Celtic Blessing Kevin Siegfried https://youtu.be/exe7Sdnu7Sk?list=PLLZ5xrKfWGmAnNbri_9k5_sq2wZtAtR3Q

Image Sources:

Man and Woman by Yoram Raanan https://www.yoramraanan.com
God Creates Adam – Genesis 1:27 by James Tissot  https://www.flickr.com/photos/phillipmedhurst/44117455795