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Summary: This is a Sermon that deals with the love of music and the ability it has to talk about relationships and to deliver the News. This sermon also looks at friendship and the concept of fake friends and associates

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1) August 18, 2013 [Green]

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Sermon Text Isaiah 5:1-7

Sermon "A love Song Gone Sour"

Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19 (UMH 801) Hebrews 11:29–12:2 Luke 12:49-56

Many of life’s memorable moments can be brought to mind just by hearing a favorite song. Consider Sam Cooke’s protest song, “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and the ways it evokes the civil rights crisis of the early 1960s, or John Lennon’s song of peace, “Imagine,” which has as a point of reference the Vietnam War. Or even “Fight the Power” by PE that dealt with the Virginia Beach Riots

These and many other songs not only grab moments of the human experience but also give voice to a social critique. When Jimi Hendrix transfixed the crowds of Woodstock with his gripping version of "The Star Spangled Banner," he was building on a foundation reaching back, in part, to the revolutionary guitar playing of Howlin' Wolf and the other great Chicago bluesmen, and to the Delta blues tradition before him. But in its unforgettable introduction, followed by his unaccompanied "talking" guitar passage and inserted calls and responses at key points in the musical narrative, Hendrix's performance of the national anthem also hearkened back to a tradition even older than the blues, a tradition rooted in the rings of dance, drum, and song shared by peoples across Africa. Music has taken us on fascinating journeys from the African ring, through the ring shout's powerful merging of music and dance in the slave culture, to the funeral parade practices of the early new Orleans jazzmen, the bluesmen in the twenties, the beboppers in the forties, and the free jazz, rock, Motown, concert hall composers of the sixties, streets of Bed-Stuy in New York. and beyond.

Song can speak to Social Crisis

Speaking to power through song was a common practice among the prophets of Israel. Just like it has been in our history and is today. I am packing my bags to go to the celebration of the 1963 August 28 March on Washington and one of the questions I want to know as we look at issues like the repel of sections of the voters right bill and the killing of Trayvon Martin what's the song.

In Isaiah 5:1-5, the prophet who writes switches to the role of ballad-singer, introducing his listeners to a song titled “My Dearest Friend’s Vineyard.”

The ballad begins by narrating the story of a dear friend’s vineyard on top of a fertile hill and recounts the labor that went into caring and maintaining this vineyard.

“He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.” (v. 2)

With poetic leaps, this song transports us to the top of a hill, inside of a watchtower, and through a wine vat. We are invited to linger on the long time-lapse of the planting season—from seedling to yielded grapes.

Yet rather than languish in the nostalgia of country life, the ballad-singer moves us to the crisis of a vineyard yielding worthless sour grapes.


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