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Celebrating Christianity

Summer, 1999

This page contains: (click on the area of interest to you or read the whole page)
Words to two songs
KN5000 keyboard version of three songs
Meditation Message on Diversity

During the summer, I played the keyboard for worship services in both the Catholic Church downtown and the Multi-denominational English Church in San Carlos. These are from the August 1st services.

Note: Click on the song title to download the Technics KN5000 version.

Seek Ye First -- Busca Primero

In San Carlos, we sing this song in both English and in Spanish (sometimes English, sometimes Spanish, and sometimes both at different times in the same worship service). One of my favorite keyboard accompaniments uses a Country Western rhythm, when the song is used as the opening or the closing hymn of the service.


Verse 1:
Seek ye first the kingdom of God
And His righteousness,
And all these things will be added unto you--
Allelu, alleluia!

Verse 2:
You do not live by bread alone,
But by ev'ry word,
That comes forth from the mouth of God,
Allelu, alleluia!

Verse 3: (Same in Spanish and in English)
Alleluia, allelu, alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia,
Alleluia, allelu, alleluia.
Allelu, alleluia!


Verse 1:
Busca primero el reino de Dios
y su perfecta justicia,
que lo demás lo añadirá el Señor.
Alelu, aleluya.

Verse 2:
Sólo de pan, dice Dios, no vivirás,
sino de toda palabra,
que para ti el Señor pronunciará.
Alelu, aleluya.
Text: Karen Lafferty; based on Matt. 6:33; 7:7
Music: Karen Lafferty
Copyright: Maranatha Music, 1972

Surely the Presence

(of the Lord is in this Place)

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place;
I can feel His mighty power and His grace.
I can hear the rush of angel wings, I see glory on each face;
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.
Text and Music: Lanny Wolfe
Copyright: Lanny Wolfe Music, 1977

Celebrating Diversity within Christianity

Meditation: August 1, 1999

These are my notes for a meditation message I was privileged to give to the congregation of the Multi-Denominational Church in San Carlos on August 1, 1999. I am not an ordained minister, but in the summertime others of us have an opportunity to address the nucleus of members remaining in San Carlos. Since we did not have air conditioning in the church that day, I shortened the message from that originally planned.
Note: The scripture reading from John, chapter 13, ending with verse 35: "By this love you have for one another, everyone will know you are my disciples."

We also sang:
"They'll Know We are Christians By Our Love" immediately preceeding the message.

Is the message coming through loud and clear?

All together now... How is it that people will know that we are Christians?

All together now... They have love for one another.

As Christians, we realize that we are all different. So then, why do we criticize those who ARE different?

We have different preferences in music, different preferences in structure of the worship service, different organizational styles, different religious preferences.

We have been referring to this Church as "non-denominational", but I like the term Clay Futrell used this past year, "multi-denominational".

There is no place for criticism of another religious preference in this church, especially not from the pulpit! We are a Multi-Denominational Christian Church. (The truth is that most of us of one faith do not really understand even the essence of other beliefs.)

Sometimes it is said that we must accept other religious preferences, but I go further -- We need to CELEBRATE the diversity!

Let's take a moment to consider some of the diversity amongst Christ's disciples...

Matthew: a tax collector.

Think of an IRS auditor sitting across the table from you, telling you that you need to pay more income taxes.

Or a representative from the social security office here in Mexico standing at your door telling you that you didn't pay enough social security taxes on the construction of your house.
They represent "the establishment" (to use a 60's term).

Simon Peter: How do you think of Peter?
"What?" "You are going to wash my feet?"
"No way!" "Get outta here!"

After Jesus explains the significance of washing his feet...

Peter just goes "whole hog".

"In that case, don't just wash my feet. Wash me from head to foot... the whole nine yards!"

"Me? I will NEVER deny you!"

Seeing Jesus walking on the water. "Lord! If you have the power to do that, you could give me the power to walk on water too."

Is this the Peter we know and love?

Peter was a zealot -- full of zeal. He would go all out for a cause he believed in. In modern day terms, he's the type of person who would chain himself to a tree so it couldn't be cut down; or lay in front of a bus to prevent it from taking people to ...

So Matthew repersents the establishment and Peter is a zealot. Do you think Peter liked Matthew? (Does someone who lives in the grey areas on his tax return LIKE the IRS agent?) Probably not. However, they were both following Christ. Don't you suppose that Christ had reason to continually tell his disciples, "Love one another." There are examples of squabbling amongst the apostles and the disciples.

And how will people know that we are Christ's disciples?

All together now...

So Matthew and Peter were different. We could look at other disciples.

Now Thomas... Thomas was from Missouri.

But I think we have the idea. The disciples, the Christians, were a diverse group.

How will people know that we are Christians? Because we are all alike? All believe the same thing? Always agree?
Do we spread the love? or are we like the farmer fertilizing his field? I've heard several people in the community say that from what they've heard of the church here, they wouldn't attend. There is too much fighting and dissention.

What a sad commentary!

Sometimes I've said things that I regreted later. But perhaps we can make a concerted effort to change.

During the summer we have such a variety of messages, variety of music, even variations in the order of the service. The diversity of our church could be tremendously enhanced by celebrating differences instead of trying to control others by complaining.

Let's not try to make everyone else in our "image and likeness", but celebrate the diversity in Christianity. As the summer church, let's be a nucleus, the anawim, to be a witness to the wonderful diversity we have. Wouldn't it be great to have more...

Let us go forth and celebrate the richness of diversity in our lives and in our worship.

Just an interesting note:
P.S. The week following delivering this meditation, I received a newsletter from my Alma Mater, a small women's college in Minnesota. Recognizing the value of diversity, they now have a Diversity Recruitment Director.

This page contains: (click on the area of interest to you)
Words to two songs
KN5000 keyboard version of three songs
Meditation Message on Diversity

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