We will hear one of the most fascinating and puzzling passages in the gospel this Sunday (Luke 16:1-13). Jesus tells a story about a dishonest manager who cheats the rich man he works for, who then praises the manager for his shrewdness. Jesus shocks us by telling us to be as shrewd ourselves. It seems to make no sense until we delve into it and find practical wisdom that we desperately need right now in our church and world. We will hear two other passages about the kind of wisdom Christ calls us to have, one from Proverbs 8 and the other from Matthew, Chapter 10, verses 16-20.
Our music will draw from very diverse traditions this week from Gregorian plainsong to Christian folk rock. The choir will sing one of the most ancient church tunes, a plainchant, “O Wisdom, Breathed from God,” and an Anthem written by a prominent contemporary hymnodist, Carl P. Daw Jr., “Like the Murmur of the Dove Song,” invoking the Holy Spirit, the source of greatest wisdom. We will sing the beloved Welsh hymn tune, “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise,” and the equally beloved Jewish melody that we associate with “The God of Abraham Praise,” but this time with 20th Century words, “They Did Not Build in Vain.” We will also sing an African-American spiritual, “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me.” To top off this amazingly diverse lineup, our Diverse Traditions Music Team will sing Bob Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody” during the Time with the Children.
Here is a youtube of the Charlie Daniels Band and World Outreach Church worship team performing Gotta Serve Somebody at a Thanksgiving service.
And to add one more dramatic turn to the diversity dial, here is a group of Chinese college students singing the African-American spiritual “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me” — and singing it well!