A Message of Music

A sermon based on Col 3: 12-16; Psalm 95:1-3
given at Mount Vernon, Ohio on July 13, 2014
by Rev. Scott Elliott (with beautiful music provided by The Heritage Singers)
SCOTT: Over the past few months we’ve talked a quite a bit about God’s presence in all that is.
We’ve looked at Paul’s claim that God is what we live and move and have our being in.

We’ve considered Psalm 139’s suggestion that everywhere we go there is God.
There is a wonderful truth and awe to this Everywhere-God who’s near . . . yet fills the universe.
The prophet Jeremiah (23:23-24) recorded these words that sum it up nicely
“Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off? “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.
If you’ve been outside in nature, you know how true this declaration by God is. God fills the earth. Humans have noticed this for a long, long, time – and some have blessed us with songs about it.
The Heritage Singers are going to start us off with two such songs, a hauntingly beautiful old anthem called SAVOR SO, and a famous favorite, FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH.

HERITAGE SINGERS:

SAVOR SO (3 min)
FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH (3:5 min)

SCOTT: Even though God is everywhere, we’ve also discussed how life can be hard. It can be messy.

We can feel alienated from God by terrible, difficult and bad things. It can feel as if we are all alone with no one by our side.

But God IS there with us providing love and care and a guiding hand– and a loving embrace.

As Jesus put it in Matthew 28 “remember I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Here’s an anthem about the consequences of that truth— it’s a beautiful Spiritual called NEVER GOING TO WALK THIS JOURNEY ALONE.

HERITAGE SINGERS:
NEVER GOING TO WALK THIS JOURNEY ALONE (3:3 min)

SCOTT: Some of the hard and messy things in life are caused by natural events occurring, but often it is humans choosing to do wrong.

Jesus’ Way is about how we relate to God in creation, and in others and ourselves.
It’s about making the right choices. Choosing the Heavenly Way over earthly ways, picking Love over non-love.
The next song is based on a Native American story that goes like this:
One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said “my son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, false pride, and ego.

“The other wolf inside people is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a moment and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?…”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one that you feed.”

Here is the powerful song, FEED THE RIGHT WOLF, written by Sarah Goslee Reed. And arranged by Cliff Davis

HERITAGE SINGERS:
FEED THE RIGHT WOLF (4:40 min)

SCOTT: When we find and accept grace, we get –we understand– that WE are loved.
But see, here’s the thing, Jesus’ Way is not just getting what WE need . . . getting that WE are loved. It’s about taking that love and finding every way we can to shine it out in the dark shadows of the world bringing the light of love into others’ lives, as well as our own.
It just so happens that we are going to end The Musical Message part of this service with The Heritage Singers’ awesome rendition of a song that touches on this topic of doing as Jesus taught, shining our light in the world: THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE

HERITAGE SINGERS:
THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE (3:4 min)

SCOTT: Amen!
Thank you Heritage Singers who need to leave to bless the Mulberry Street Methodist congregation at their service.