Joel 1:8-10, 17-20
Lamentation; fire has destroyed the wilderness
FFS02 As the sun beats down (Bennett) Good words. Simple tune. A lamentation in times of drought. Maybe drought is like fire destroying the land too. I just thought this might be appropriate in some places.
Online resource O mighty God of wind and flame (Winfrey-Gillette) For some communities, this reading might call to mind recent bushfires, and this song may be appropriate. Lyrics here.
The Psalmist calls on God who answered (in a very dramatic way) with deliverance
MV017 / FFS24 /Srce2-145 God in the darkness (Smith) Great words which would work well at the beginning of a service of worship. Set to a fairly simple hymn-like tune by Colin Gibson. Verse 1: "God in the darkness, God beyond our knowing, patient creator, seed in secret growing, rock of the living, water ever flowing, come and renew us"
SiS635 / StJ / SFFS2002 / W&R653 I Will Call upon the Lord (O'Shields) Fun. Don't take it too seriously; break into a round if you feel like it. I always imagine crazy 80s hair metal drums and guitars for the chorus. There is a second verse in some sources which really isn't needed (or good). Lyrics and chords. I'm just now realising that I may have listened (accidentally, of course!) to Petra in the 80s - like this.
The spirit intercedes for us.
FFS11 Come teach us Spirit of our God (Murray/Jillian Bray) Excellent words and a good tune.
Worldmaking.net / CP086 More Than We Can Ask A great chant for use during intercessions. Very simple and genuine. Sample here.
TiS 406 / AHB 377 / CH583 / VU385 / HPP223 / HPSS325 / CP646 / CP(E) 195 Spirit divine attend our prayers Old, but inclusive words. Tune is not very familiar but is very straightforward.
Music by Heart 19 The groaning of the spirit (Law) A round with an ostinato (a higher part) and an optional drum part. Would need to be taught during worship, or shortly before.
*Tune In: Spirit of the Father / Alive in me (Anderson) Catchy song about God’s spirit living in us. "Take hold of the hope that I give, trust in me, reach out for the love you can live, eternally”. Lyrics and sound sample.
*Tune In: Father of earth, Mother of sea (Brown) A Latinesque song about the Spirit being with those who are victims, prisoners and the sick, as well as present in our prayers. Note particularly the phrase “Spirit who prays with us while war goes on… pray with us Lord”. Lyrics and sample.
*AoV1-061 / ATOK 355 / SFFS 2194 / G(II)521 / GC723 / GC(II)707 / ZSS110 / SgTJ1035 Freedom is coming (South African) Excellent and lots of fun, especially if you have a keen African-style drummer in your congregation. It's really worth teaching the parts to your congregation before the service. It can get a bit boring if the congregation don't know they get to listen to the other parts! Partial sheet music, sound sample (search for Freedom is coming).
VU619 / WoV738 / ELW612 / SFFS 2213 / G(II)642 / GC882 / GC(II)854 / RS 958 / CP612 / W&R630 / Cha506 / URW161 Healer of Our Every Ill (Haugen) Good straightforward words of healing and simple tune. "Give us strength to love each other, every sister, every brother". Can get overly mushy. Lyrics and sheet music sample. Sound sample.
URW154 Holy holy holy you are whole and holy (Harling) Very simple tune. Would be a nice Sanctus to use during communion this week if you like, even if you just used the chorus.
*TiS 417 / AoV2-133 / ATW 448 / VU387 / StJ / WoV683 / ELW397 / AA94 / HPP237 / HPPS323 / URW203 Loving Spirit, Loving Spirit (Murray). There are about a zillion tunes set for this. I prefer FELICITY (by Colin Gibson TiS 417), but also like RESTORATION. Lyrics are here.
*TiS 421 Where the Spirit is there's freedom (Harling) Fun and good; excellent fun for the pianist! Lyrics.
NCH520 / LBW441 / ELW402 / AA033 / CP557 / W&R475 / 82Hml-698 Eternal Spirit of the living Christ (von Christierson) There are many tunes to these very honest and realistic words. For a more modern alternative, Gibson's tune in AA (ARGYLE STREET) is quite good. Lyrics.
*AoV2-003 / ATOK 313 / CH543 / StJ / R127 / ELW715 / GC(II)512 Longing for light we wait in darkness / Christ, be our light (Farrell). One of my favourites, especially if someone can sing or play the descant line in the later verses. Sound and sheet music sample here.
*VU379 / LBW459 / ELW786 / SFFS 2121 O Holy Spirit root of life Good words from Hildegard of Bingen. Simple known tune. You can see the sheet music here (doesn't always work).
Matthew 3:13 – 4:2 or Mark 1:9-13
Christ is baptised and driven into the wilderness
*CH338 / VU115 / StS036 / SFFS 2105 Jesus tempted in the desert (Stuempfle) Excellent story-telling hymn, sung to the familiar tune EBENEZER. Sheet music sample including lyrics. Tune sample.
*Tune In Save us in the time of trial (Whelan) A song with a reflective almost-Taize-like chorus. We have sung this a couple of different ways, it's quite flexible. Lyrics, sound sample and songbook available.
*MV118 Me alone (Jamaican traditional) A very simple repetitive call-and-response song. Could work well as a reflective song. Could work as a prayer response, and fits with the other readings this week too.
*ATW 498 / Iona (T1AU) / MV 196 / SP&P182 / URW438 We will take what you offer. An excellent simple short song that works well either as an upbeat chorus or as a reflective chant. "We will take what you offer. We will live by your word. We will love one another. And be fed by you Lord". Sound sample.
*?SP&P097 The spirit led Jesus to the wilderness (Scheffler) A good catchy verse and chorus song for kids. The story of Jesus going into the wilderness. You might need to have a conversation about what it means to be tempted by the devil with the kids before singing this. We don't often talk about "The Devil".
*MV065 When we are tested and wrestle alone (Duck) Excellent words paralleling our struggles with those of Christ in the wilderness. The set tune WHEN WE ARE TESTED is not difficult, but it can also be sung to SLANE (TiS 547) if you need a familiar tune. First verse is "When we are tested and wrestle alone, famished for bread when the world offers stone, nourish us God, by your word and your way, food that sustains us by night and by day".
*Taize In God alone my soul can find rest and peace. A beautiful healing chant from Taize. Words and music and sound samples for learning the parts are here.
*Tune In: You in all our worries / All will finish well “In this world where injustice reigns, you are in the midst of pain”. Excellent words of reassurance in a difficult world. Sound sample, lyrics and songbook available here.
Online resource: Jesus in the Desert (Damon) A simple hymn-like song. Sheet music.
*Online resource: Out in the Wilderness (Beech) A groovy song that I think kids will like. Sheet music.
Cha455 You Have Called Me (Edwards) A simple song, about being called from silence or the wilderness to serve. "Here I am, send me, here I am"
*Iona (Heaven Shall not Wait) / VU19 Kindle a flame to lighten the dark and take all fear away. A good chant, useful as a response for intercessions. Sometimes a bit tricky to sing - there's a strangely large jump at the start.
Worldmaking.net Open unto me light for my darkness (Bruxvoort-Colligan) Good for a more contemplative service. Sample
Worldmaking.net O Christ, Lamb of God (Bruxvoort-Colligan) A more modern Agnus Dei, with Christ sharing our weakness. Lyrics and sound sample.
*TiS 745 / AoV1-048 / ATN 34 / SiS96 / CH641 / UMH405 / VU356 / WoV783 / GA456 / HPP370 / PH333 / GC615 / GC(II)600 / CP458 / W&R349 / Cha354 / Srce593 / 82Hml-711 Seek ye first the kingdom of God (Lafferty) A classic. Versions vary widely in the inclusiveness of their versions. A tip: GA, WoV and VU have all made this gender inclusive for God by simply replacing "his righteousness" with "God's righteousness". Easy, really. And, "We do not live by bread alone". Words from St. Theresa of Avila.