Searing incandescent spirit – A hymn reflecting on John 13: 34 – 35

A hymn reflecting on John 13: 34 – 35 takes us, perhaps, toward Pentecost…

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Searing incandescent spirit, 
melting rock and churning foam, 
turning chaos into comfort 
formed the planet where we roam. 
Now we recollect the story 
of the cosmic photo-call 
when the universe was forming 
earth, the cradle of us all.

By this spirit prophets speaking 
challenged power and brought down thrones, 
pointed people to the Godhead, 
moved them from their comfort zones; 
turned their minds from selfish pleasure, 
marking wrong and putting right, 
led them from each ego's desert, 
from their introspective blight.

Now the spirit doused all people, 
no-one could escape this shower; 
sons and mothers, fathers, daughters, 
felt this rhythmic, dancing power; 
soon all nations heard the clamour, 
every language known on earth 
called to every nation living, 
join with love and find new-birth.

Andrew E Pratt; Words © 2015 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England . Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Metre: 8 7 8 7 D

Always missing, never grasping – hymn for the Third Sunday of Easter

Always missing, never grasping, 
hope amid this shifting sea, 
coast and haven seem remote now, 
too far off to harbour me.
Yet those fishermen are telling 
news that I can't comprehend, 
news that Jesus is still living, 
hasn't met his final end.
But I saw his body hanging 
silhouetted like a sail, 
blood was draining, rigor rising,
movement quietened, life gone pale. 
Now they say that sail is filling, 
spirit billows drive him on, 
Christ is cresting all disaster, 
life returns and death is gone.
Yet unless I see the bow wave, 
feel the tiller in my hand, 
sense the tautness of the lanyard, 
I can hardly understand.
Source of wind and wave, my sailor, 
give me faith to grasp this news, 
you are living, death defying, 
heaven, earth and joy will fuse.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) Words © 2015 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England . Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd
Metre: 8 7 8 7 D

Watercolour from Words, Images and Imagination © Andrew Pratt

Romans 13: 8 – 14 – Am I in debt? Meditation: Am I in debt?

Am I in debt?


In debt for the love you have given me.
Undeserving, sometimes callous, thoughtless and cavalier with the expectations
of others. Yet I am loved.
And so I owe this debt of love.
How can it be paid?
How do I repay the patience of a nurse who stands by me while I am sick?
How do I return the love of a mother who invested her life in my life from birth
to her death?
How do I thank those people who affirm me in what I do, in writing and in
How do I thank the teacher who told me, but then demonstrated that from his
point of view there was some good in everyone?
How do I thank my son for music, art and an openness of spirit?
How do I thank colleagues who have stood by and encouraged me as my life has
changed pace and direction often giving them more work to do?
How do I thank my wife for her care?
How do I thank the child who smiles and hugs me and says, ‘That’s better’?
How do I thank countless friends who have done the things that only they could
How do I thank the father who taught me to work with wood?
So much to be thankful for!
Am I in debt?

To each and all is owed a lifetime of love, so graciously given, so easily received.

No wonder he said, ‘Love one another”!
I’ll try, really I will.

Will you?

What is this love?

What is this love? Just this we know 
that love transcends all pomp and show, 
that love exists, above below, 
love was and is and is to be, 
by grace we are both loved and free.

What is this love? It precedes life, it overcomes all dark and strife, love is the Spirit’s keenest knife, pure love has brightness in its eyes, yet breathes forever, never dies.
Love is the interface of change, no difference rests beyond its range, its nature gracious, other, strange, it holds birth, death and all between, here all is safe: both hidden, seen.
Love is the point where hell is breached, where joy is glimpsed and heaven reached, the outcasts find they’re unimpeached, on this wide earth the lost are found for love is safe, is solid ground.
Andrew Pratt 17/4/2022