The Rev. Dr. Charlene Han Powell, preaching.
This morning is part 2 of the Rev. Dr. Charlene Han Powell's three-week sermon series, Identity Crisis, with readings from the Book of Job. Today is also Pride Sunday, with members of FAPC's LGBT community group taking part in the service.
Sermon: "Identity Crisis: Who Are My People?"
Text: Job 6:8-27
O that I might have my request, and that God would grant my desire;that it would please God to crush me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off! This would be my consolation; I would even exult in unrelenting pain; for I have not denied the words of the Holy One. What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient? Is my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh bronze? In truth I have no help in me, and any resource is driven from me.
Those who withhold kindness from a friend forsake the fear of the Almighty. My companions are treacherous like a torrent-bed, like freshets that pass away, that run dark with ice, turbid with melting snow. In time of heat they disappear; when it is hot, they vanish from their place. The caravans turn aside from their course; they go up into the waste, and perish. The caravans of Tema look, the travelers of Sheba hope. They are disappointed because they were confident; they come there and are confounded. Such you have now become to me; you see my calamity, and are afraid.
Have I said, ‘Make me a gift’? Or, ‘From your wealth offer a bribe for me’?Or, ‘Save me from an opponent’s hand’? Or, ‘Ransom me from the hand of oppressors’? Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone wrong. How forceful are honest words! But your reproof, what does it reprove? Do you think that you can reprove words, as if the speech of the desperate were wind? You would even cast lots over the orphan, and bargain over your friend.
Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F major, K. 497: Andante • W. A. Mozart (1756–1791)
Love Bade Me Welcome from Five Mystical Songs • Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958), Text: George Herbert (1593–1632)
A Simple Song from Mass • Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990), Text by Stephen Schwartz (b. 1948) and Leonard Bernstein
Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in D major, K. 381: Allegro molto • W.A. Mozart
The Offertory Solo this morning comes from Leonard Bernstein’s MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers. Mass was commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy to be part of the opening ceremonies for the new John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The piece was premiered on Sept. 8, 1971. Although Bernstein initially considered writing a more traditional setting of the Mass, he eventually decided on a staged theater piece employing huge musical forces: a celebrant, three choirs, altar servers, a full symphony orchestra, an on-stage rock band and a marching band! Much of the text for Mass is from the Latin Tridentine Mass of the Roman Catholic Church, but Bernstein also employed additional English lyrics written in collaboration with the celebrated Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz and singer-songwriter Paul Simon. “A Simple Song” appears early in Mass as the opening hymn following the Kyrie eleison.