The world-wide lectionary comes into alignment with the national calendar on this Independence Day weekend. Paul is talking about freedom and the Spirit, and both Jesus and Paul give rules and laws by which disciples and communities of Christ should govern themselves. (Galatians Chapters 5 and 6; Luke 10:1-11) We will read Psalm 1 that talks about those who follow the law of God becoming like trees planted by streams of living water and bringing forth fruit. The scriptures and the day beg the question: how do politics and religion relate? Does Christ have anything to say about how we govern our lives, our church, our communities and our nation in the United States of American in 2016?
We will celebrate the spirit of freedom with wonderful music, starting with the exuberant American spiritual “I Woke Up This Morning” led by members of our Diverse Traditions music team. We will also sing “O Beautiful for Spacious Skies,” and the stirring hymn, “God Send Us Men Whose Aim ’Twill Be” as well as the beloved communion spiritual, “Let Us Break Bread Together.”
Organist John Atwood will play a Prelude, Offertory and Postlude all by American composers who were born before the Revolutionary War, including: “A Fuge or Voluntary” by William Selby; “Simple Gifts” by John Carter; and “The Battle of Trenton” by James Hewitt. He will also play the ethereal “Hear My Prayer, O God” [Ave Maria] by Jacob Arcadelt, arranged for piano by Franz Liszt.
Here are two very different YouTube treats. The first is a classic recording of “The Battle of Trenton” that will greatly enhance your appreciation when you hear it Sunday morning. Do not be fooled by the YouTube frame that talks about grief. Think John Phillips Sousa…
And the second selection will help you unwind after the battle.