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This week’s scriptures invite us to open our hearts to God’s indwelling Spirit. The following music has been chosen to strengthen your prayer and contemplation this week.
“The Lone Wild Bird”
The words of this old hymn place us in a bleak environment wherein we are offered the comfort of God’s “Great Spirit.” Psalm 139 comes to mind: “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”
The image of the “Great Spirit” is reminiscent of the Spirit of God (Ruach Elohim) hovering over the dark and deep chaotic waters at the time of creation (Genesis 1:2). This old hymn, which was not originally intended to be a reference God’s Spirit, has become for us a perfect prayer for this time of pandemic — offering comfort by God’s Spirit dwelling within us.
(L.A. Choral Lab accapella trio)
(Lucymarie Ruth, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon)
(Lynda Poston- Smith, vocalist)
“I Will Not Leave You Comfortless”
This line from John’s Gospel of John provides some perspective during this pandemic. Believing that God is with us throughout this time is not only a sign of faith; it is a prayer of hope.
I will not leave you comfortless, I will come again to you And your hearts shall rejoice — Alleluia!
(Mantra by Jan Phillips)
I will not leave you comfortless, I will not leave you alone I am the air you breathe in, I’m the light of every star and every dome. Acknowledging the Blessings of Jesus
“The Lord Bless and Keep You”
(By Peter Lutkin, performed by Octarian)
The Easter season continually proclaims life — through the post resurrection appearances of Jesus, his proclamation as our Good Shepherd and his promise of the indwelling Spirit. This traditional piece, also sung in our church, will remind you of God’s blessing.
The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord lift his countenance upon you, and give you peace, and give you peace. The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious, and be gracious; the Lord be gracious, gracious unto you. Amen.
“Love Changes Everything”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks for the first time of the disciples’ love for him. Previously, he told them that he is the way, the bread of life, the light of the world — all descriptions that speak of what he wants to offer them. Jesus often called his disciples to believe in him and to trust him, but now he gets to the deep, interpersonal level of loving him for who he is. Jesus says his disciples demonstrate their love for him by keeping his commandments. This contemporary song written by Andrew Lloyd Webber provides a good meditation of the power of love.
(Michael Ball & Il Divo)
“Time to Say Goodbye”
(Con Te Partiro)
This contemporary song expresses a strong connection to the emotions of Mary and the Apostles when they confronted the reality of Jesus’ departure. Notice the words of mission that emanate from the song.
(English with lyrics and visuals sung by Sarah Brightman)