Mark Kutolowski led worship last Sunday and gave a beautifully clear and concise summary of Jesus’ central teaching: the realm of God is always within and around us, and to see it and dwell in it and feel filled with its blessings we need to undergo a transformation of our heart and mind. We need to go beyond our normal everyday way of relating to the world and attain a higher and deeper consciousness, having the heart and mind of Christ. This process of transformation is called “metanoia” in the New Testament, “meta” meaning to change and go beyond, and “noia” or “nous” meaning what we think of today as combined heart, mind and spirit.
This Sunday we will continue what Mark began, looking at what practical things we can do to facilitate the process of inner transformation, working with the Spirit as it transforms us. We will talk with the children about the magical, classic book, The Secret Garden, because metanoia is like finding the key and the hidden door into God’s realm.
The scriptures will be from the lectionary for the presentation of Jesus as a baby at the temple , which is celebrated on February 2nd (Candlemas, for fascinating background click here): the story itself in Luke 2:22-32; Malachi 3:1-4 with its image of transformation like a refiner’s fire; and the beautiful Psalm 84. We will sing a contemporary paraphrase of the Psalm, “How Lovely Is Your Dwelling,” by a leading Christian poet set to the tune of “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming.” We will also sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “Let Us Break Bread Together.”
The choir will sing “Woke Up This Morning” as the Introit, “How Can I Keep from Singing” as the Anthem, and the Zulu “Unthando Lwakhe” as the Choral Benediction, a perfect final word for a service about learning to see and dwell in the realm of God in everyday life. Annemieke will play pieces by F. Mompou, F. Poulenc and E. Grieg.
Here is a fun youtube video of the Zulu piece–check out this young choir’s moves (students from Jacob University in Germany)! And is that Luke chiming in and hopping around in front? If you want to be part of our choir, all you need to do is show up at church at 9:00 on Sunday morning and open your heart and sing!