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Showing posts from August, 2017

Sermon, "Singing the Story: Here I Am, Lord," Isaiah 6:1-8

Sermon 8/27/17 Isaiah 6:1-8
Singing the Story: Here I Am, Lord

Dan Schutte is a contemporary American composer. He was born in 1947 in Wisconsin. As a young man, he entered the Society of Jesus, a religious order in the Roman Catholic Church. Members of the Society of Jesus are known as Jesuits. Dan was a founding member of a group called the “St. Louis Jesuits,” comprised of a group of seminarians studying at St. Louis University who were interested in composing music for worship in a “contemporary folk style.”  Like Cesáreo Gabaráin, who we learned about last Sunday, Schutte began composing in the time of musical renewal after Vatican II in the Roman Catholic Church, when changes made allowed the Mass to be celebrated in the language of the people, and music to be more reflective of contemporary styles. Schutte is still composing, currently serving as Composer-in-Residence at the University of San Francisco. (1) He is a prolific hymnist, but his most famous hymn, one that frequently to…

Sermon, "Singing the Story: Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore," Luke 5:1-11

Sermon 8/20/17 Luke 5:1-11
Singing the Story: Lord You Have Come to the Lakeshore
            “Lord, you have come to the lakeshore looking neither for wealthy nor wise ones. You only asked me to follow humbly. You know so well my possessions; my boat carries no gold and no weapons; You will find there my nets and labor. You need my hands, full of caring, through my labors to give others rest, and constant love that keeps on loving. You, who have fished other oceans ever longed-for by souls who are waiting, my loving friend, as thus you call me. O Lord, with your eyes you have searched me, and while smiling, have spoken my name. Now my boat's left on the shoreline behind me; by your side I will seek other seas.” Cesáreo Gabaráin
Last month I asked you all to guess at my favorite hymn as part of the “Year 1” quiz I handed out, and I shared with you that Be Thou My Vision is top of my list. It’s long been my favorite hymn. But I have to tell you that another hymn has been creeping up my…

Sermon, "Women of the Bible: Vashti and Esther," Esther 1:1-2:4, Esther 4

Sermon 7/23/17 Esther 1:1-2:4, 4
Women of the Bible: Vashti and Esther

            Today we’re looking at the story of two women, two queens, Vashti and Esther. The book of Esther is a fairly short book, set in the time of exile. Remember, Israel had been conquered by foreign rulers, and many Israelites had been sent away from Israel to live in foreign lands. Some Jews find themselves living in the kingdom of Persia, under the rule of a man named King Ahasuerus, who is known elsewhere as King Xerxes. Persia is in the region we know today as Iran. Esther is unique in being one of only two books of the Bible named for women – we read from the other, the book of Ruth, two weeks ago – but it is also one of only two book of the Bible that doesn’t explicitly mention God anywhere. (The other is Song of Songs.) So why is this book part of the scriptures you might wonder, if God isn’t mentioned? Today we’ll talk about this story of Esther, and see if we can see God woven throughout this text, even…