Sermon

Wisdom & Courage

Saturday, Jul. 10, 2021, Preacher: Rev. Rob Metcalf

 

Sunday, July 11
Seventh After Pentecost
Rev. Rob Metcalf
Eleanor Daley, Director of Music
Musical Offering: Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir
Scripture: Mark 14:32-42
Reader: Sue Metcalf

 

Prelude Air on the G String, BWV 1068           Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

 

 

Opening Hymn God of Grace and God of Glory

God of grace and God of glory,
on thy people pour thy power;
crown thine ancient church’s story;
bring its bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the facing of this hour.

Lo! the hosts of evil round us,
scorn thy Christ, assail his ways!
From the fears that long have bound us,
free our hearts to faith and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the living of these days.

Cure thy children’s warring madness,
bend our pride to thy control;
shame our wanton selfish gladness,
rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal.

Save us from weak resignation
to the evils we deplore;
let the gift of thy salvation
be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
serving thee whom we adore.
(Harry Emerson Fosdick, 1930, alt.)

 

Anthem My Soul is Exceeding Sorrowful           E. Daley (1995)
Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir

 

 

Closing Hymn A Mighty Fortress is Our God           Martin Luther (1483-1546), arr. David Wesley/Don Hart
(Featuring a virtual performance of 176 singers and instrumentalists from 34 countries.)

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper he amidst the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right man on our side,
The man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth his name,
From age to age the same,
And he must win the battle.

That word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
(Martin Luther, ca. 1528,
Trans. Frederick H. Hedge, 1853)

 

Choral Commissioning           E. Daley
Fairlawn Avenue Senior Choir section leads

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face to shine on you
And be gracious unto you.
The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you,
And give you peace. Amen.

 

Postlude Ein Feste Burg ist Unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress is Our God)           Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)

 

 

♪ Music notes ♪

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a German composer of the Baroque period (ca. 1600-1750). He lived in Protestant north Germany in the days when music there made up an important part of the splendour of courts, of religious observance, and the daily happiness of the people. Over the course of his life, he held numerous posts: choir-boy, violinist in the orchestra of a prince, organist of town churches, and chief court musician. His last position was as music director at the St. Thomas Church and School in Leipzig, of which city his name is chiefly connected, since he remained there for almost the last thirty years of his life. He played many instruments, and as a clavichordist, harpsichordist, and organist, was supreme in his day. He was an extremely prolific composer and produced monumental instrumental compositions as the Art of the Fugue, the Brandenburg Concertos, and the Goldberg Variations, as well as cantatas, motets, sacred songs and arias, sonatas, concertos, suites, and an enormous amount of organ and other keyboard music. Two of Bach’s best known large choral works are the St. Matthew Passion and the Mass in B Minor, and since the 19th-century Bach revival, in no small part, thanks to Felix Mendelssohn, he is now regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time. Bach was twice married, and the parent of twenty (!) children, several of whom were also musicians.

Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) was an American Protestant minister, teacher and author. From 1926-1946, he was both the minister of the interdenominational Riverside Church in New York City, and a preacher on the National Vespers nationwide radio programme. Fosdick was also a central figure in the Protestant liberal-fundamentalist controversies during the 1920s, an early practitioner of pastoral counseling, and prolific author of sermons, articles, and books.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) is one of Western history’s most significant figures. Born in Eisleben, Saxony (now Germany) which was then part of the Holy Roman Empire, he spent his early years in relative anonymity as a monk and scholar. But in 1517 Luther penned a document attacking the Catholic Church’s practice of selling “indulgences” to absolve sin. His “95 Theses,” which propounded two central beliefs—that the Bible is the central religious authority, and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds—sparked the Protestant Reformation. Although these ideas had been advanced before, Luther codified them at a moment in history ripe for religious reformation. The Catholic Church was ever after divided, and the Protestantism that soon emerged was shaped by Luther’s ideas. His writings changed the course of religious and cultural history in the West.

Frederick H. Hedge (1805-1890) was an American author, scholar, and Unitarian minister. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, his father was a Harvard logic professor who ensured that his precocious son received a good education, including four years in Germany and a distinguished academic career at Harvard University and Harvard Divinity School. Hedge served as pastor at several locations in New England, and maintained a prolific output of scholarly papers and anthologies; he specialized in German language studies, but was equally adept in theology and metaphysics, as well as other topics. Along with his close friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Hedge was instrumental in developing Transcendentalism, although he later distanced himself from the group’s more extreme positions. He also taught at Harvard, and is remembered for helping to popularize German literature and thought in English.

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Almost completely self-taught in music, he entered the University of Leipzig to study law, but eventually settled on a career in music, against his family’s wishes. He held important positions in a number of German cities before settling in Hamburg in 1721, where he became musical director of that city’s five main churches. One of the most prolific composers in history (at least in terms of surviving works), Telemann was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the leading German composers of the time, and was compared favourably both to his friend Johann Sebastian Bach, and to George Frideric Handel, whom he also knew personally. His music incorporates French, Italian, and German national styles, and he was at times even influenced by Polish popular music. Telemann’s enormous output, among the largest of any classical composer in history, includes parts of at least 31 cantata cycles, many operas, concertos, oratorios, songs, music for civic occasions and church services, passions, orchestral suites and abundant amounts of chamber music – his music stands as an important link between the late Baroque and early Classical styles.

 

 

Music Sources:
Air on the G String, BWV 1068 Johann Sebastian Bach https://youtu.be/pzlw6fUux4o
God of Grace and God of Glory https://youtu.be/KcFDuUDLsHo
A Mighty Fortress is Our God Martin Luther,arr. David Wesley/Don Hart https://youtu.be/z4EoLm3_luM?list=RDz4EoLm3_luM
Ein Feste Burg ist Unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress is Our God) Georg Philipp Telemann https://youtu.be/-fMzpEWkwMA