The casting out of Hagar and Ishmael coupled with the gospel reading including Christ’s words that he came, not to bring peace, but a sword makes me think that it would be good to pray for peace between the three faiths descended from Abraham.
MV 148 Hope of Abraham and Sarah. A song of unity for Islam, Judaism and Christianity. “So may Torah, cross and crescent, each a sign of life made new, point us t’ward your love and justice, earth at peace and one in you”. The tune is a very straight forward (and new!) hymn tune, but more familiar alternative tunes are suggested.
"Peace, Salaam, Shalom" by Pat Humphries has a beautiful and simple chant with two cantor lines over the top. The congregation could easily sing the basic round even without the cantor lines as a meditative focus. Sheet music available for free here.
Sheva (an awesome world-folk-rock Israeli-Palestininan group). Their song, Salaam, couples Jewish and Muslim prayers for peace. It was also arranged for a cappella choir by the late Melanie Shanahan, and has been recorded by Living out Loud, and Brunswick Women’s Choir.
Asalaam Aleikum written by Melbourne woman Veda Murti, has just been released on CD by Brunswick Women’s Choir (launched at Brunswick Uniting Church just last week!).
Hagar is cast out; God hears her prayer and saves the life of Ishmael. See the Psalm suggestions for songs focussed on God hearing prayer.
TiS 184 / Iona HSNW When trouble strikes and fear takes root. Actually based on Isaiah 49, but the parallels with the hopelesseness of Hagar and God’s love for her children make it worth singing this week. The tune is a very straightforward English folk tune.
TiS 683 God! When human bonds are broken. These words pick up an unusual theme, and fit really well with this reading. Words of healing of relationships. The tune is not familiar, but it works very well and should not be too difficult if a little time is taken to introduce it to your congregation.
TiS 617 / NCH413 / HPPS342 By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered. Wonderful words by Bonhoeffer. Tricky tune (all books seem to have different tricky tunes). The words fit well to O Perfect Love if you find the tune too tricky.
Seeds of Faith I'm gonna stick with you. How do you present this reading to kids? No idea, but if you choose to focus on being a faithful friend (in contrast to Sarah), this is a fun song about friendship for kids to sing. Sample and lyrics here (look under Music at the Seeds of Faith CD and you'll find the lyrics there).
Listen to me in my trouble; prayer (also note the importance of prayer in troubling times in Genesis reading)
Taize / TiS 741 / AoV1-017 / ATE 282 / SFFS 2200 / G(II)410 / GC586 / GC(II)566: O Lord, hear my prayer
AoV2-003 / ATOK 313 / GC(II)512 Longing for light, we wait in darkness (Christ, be our light)
TiS 590 / AHB 165 / NCH506 / VU663 / HPP408 / HPPS403: What a friend we have in Jesus (note that some versions still have some masculine language).
Died with Christ to be raised with Christ; baptism
TiS 465 / AHB 399 Father in heaven, grant to your children. This Philippino folk melody has beautiful Trinitarian words from the Christian Conference of Asia. More recent materials from the CCA have the lyrics as “O God in Heaven, grant to your children” ending the first verse with “Author of love”. This makes the words gender inclusive for God. It works as a slow meditative song, and as a quicker world-folk style song too. You can download the Asia Sunday 2007 resource here, which contains sheet music (page 24 of the pdf booklet).
MV 162 Christ within us hidden, Christ, in all and each. Very simple tune with quite remarkable words based on a prayer by Michael Leunig. Why is this in a Canadian song book and not any Australian song books?!? Verse 4 and 5 are particularly appropriate for this week’s reading “Christ, in bodies broken, Love new crucified. Christ, the Word new spoken, death by love defied; Christ, in love recovered. Christ, in hope revealed. Christ, in faith discovered. Christ in tombs unsealed”.
TiS 691: Faith will not grow from words alone: These words from Elizabeth Smith are great for passages that are tricky. The tune is easy to sing.
Worldmaking: Hidden with Christ, hidden with Christ, all of us deep within God’s love. Tune is simple enough for first-time singers. Sample and lyrics here (look under Music at the Worldmaking CD and you'll find the lyrics there).
ATOK 320 / SFFS 2051 / NCH351 / VU645 / HPP516 I was there to hear your borning cry. Would be good if you’re talking about remembering our baptisms.
TiS 686 / ATE 292 Lord Jesus, we belong to you / Because we bear your name.
Lots of odd sayings all grouped together. Including: I have not come to bring peace, but a sword! Following is not easy.
Iona / MV 99 / GC(II)673: Stand, O Stand Firm: Very simple and strong African chorus.
Tune in: A grain of wheat: strong words of Christ’s sacrifice and about the need for something to die before it is reborn. Catchy chorus and a steady rock beat. Lyrics and a sound sample here.
Tune in: In the Shape of a cross. Puts our forgiveness in a global context and it’s good to sing. Lyrics and a sound sample here.
ATOK 413 / SFFS 2130 / VU567 / HPP317 / G(II)510 / GC700 / GC(II)687: The Summons (Will you come and follow me?)
World Council of Churches / GC(II)651: Never Give Up / Bambelela. Another simple strong African chorus. Easy enough for my 4 year old to sing. Free sheet music (for non-profit use only) available from the World Council of Churches here. Sound sample from GIA publications here.