Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost

October 23 • 9:30 am, Kirkland Chapel • 11:00 am, Sanctuary

The Rev. Dr. Scott Black Johnston, preaching.

The Fall Sermon Series, Backstory: Finding Life & Hope in Genesis, continues.

Sermon: "Never Again"

Text: Genesis 8:20-22, 9:8-16

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelt the pleasing odor, the Lord said in his heart, 'I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.'

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 'As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.' God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.'


Prelude in G major • Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847)

Sing to the Lord of Harvest • Traditional, arr. Healey Willan (1880–1968)

Avinu Malkeinu • Srul Irving Glick (1934–2002)

Adonai, Adonai • Srul Irving Glick

Fugue in C major, BWV 545 • J.S. Bach (1685–1750)

The choral pieces are two of five movements from Srul Irving Glick’s dramatic song cycle for choir and orchestra entitled Triumph of the Spirit. Glick, a Jewish Canadian composer, wrote the cycle in 1996 after recovering from a gunshot wound he received while leaving a choir rehearsal at Beth Tikvah Synagogue in Toronto, where he served as cantor. About this traumatic experience Glick wrote, "The sheer perverseness and unexpectedness of this event forced me to reexamine my deepest feelings about life and my place in it. It was then I realized, and with great impact, that everybody in some way or another struggles against the hardships and adversities in life, and that each personal and spiritual success becomes a ‘triumph of the spirit.’ This, therefore, became the title and philosophy behind the creation of my new choral work, and continues to be the thrust of my personal and artistic quests in life." Avinu Malkeinu and Adonai, Adonai are two of the great traditional hymns of Judaism.

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