Week of: May 26, 2019
Scripture: John 14:23-29
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all I have said to you.
(John 14:26, NRSV)
Fred Pratt Green’s wonderful hymn text, “Of All the Spirit’s Gifts to Me” (UMH 336) brought to mind Christopher Smart’s poem, “Jubilate Agno” set to music by Benjamin Britten under the title, “Rejoice in the Lamb.” Smart was a troubled person but seemed to be very much in tune with Jesus’ comforting words: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you … Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
Smart finds the Spirit in many places and in times both ancient and modern:
“Let Jakim bless God with the dance.”
The flowers are “great blessings and glorify God.”
The instruments – the shawm, cymbal, flute, bassoon, dulcimer, clarinet,
trumpet and harp – put “the devils themselves at peace.”
Fred Pratt Green’s text reminds us:
Of all the Spirit’s gifts to me, I pray that I may never cease
to take and treasure most these three: love, joy and peace.
The Spirit shows me love’s the root of every gift sent from above,
of every flower, of every fruit, that God is love.
Though what’s ahead is mystery, and life itself is ours on lease,
each day the Spirit says to me, “Go forth in peace!” *
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me! Fill our arts with love and peace that we may chase away the ills of this life and find peace through all our arts. May we sing, dance, play and create, so filled with the peace of Christ that your presence in the world is evident to all. Amen.
Director of Music Ministries
First United Methodist Church
* © 1979 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Photo: Dancers raise their arms at Music & Worship Arts Week 2018. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)