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Jesus heals a leper – a hymn

Jesus heals a leper – a hymn

One of this week’s lectionary readings Luke 17: 11-19 tells of Jesus meeting some lepers. He heals them…

17:14 When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean.
17:15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice.

Only one offered thanks and so…

1 Strange how those, the least expected,
offer thanks for acts of grace;
while so many take for granted
costly gifts as common place.

2 Children take the care we offer,
never know what love has cost,
soon they grow in independence,
soon the bonds of birth seem lost.

3 But are our lives any better?
God has many things to give,
yet we also take for granted
all that feeds the lives we live.

4 Let us learn to grasp the treasure
that is given to our hands,
life and healing, joy and pleasure,
all that loving understands.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) Words © 2013 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@stainer.co.uk . 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
8 7 8 7 Trochaic

Tune: LOVE DIVINE (Stainer)

Creator God: in lightning, clouds and thunder – a new hymn

Creator God: in lightning, clouds and thunder, 
I hear your voice, I sense the mountains shake.
But love is greater, causes me to wonder, 
and in this moment faith begins to wake.
 
    So I will sing in praise of all I see, 
    and in God's grace, I place my trust; 
    and through our lives may love confound our fear. 
    Sing praise to God, for God is love.
 
I look to stars, foundations of creation, 
reflections gleam from streams as I pass by, 
from mountain pass to shingle by the ocean,
the breath of God is moving with each sigh.
 
Within this world a human once embodied 
a depth of love beyond what had been known, 
a love that gave forgiveness once in dying, 
that we could find in life, that all could own.
 
And when my breath is ceasing as I’m dying
may grace confirm the hope that faith has given,
this human love that I have known in living 
grows firmer, deeper in the love of heaven.

© Andrew Pratt 29/9/2022


Reclaiming ‘How great Thou art’

When Carl Boberg wrote the hymn that we know as How great Thou art’ it was, I believe, written in Swedish. Some of the wonder and beauty of that hymn has survived in the English translation which is most widely used. Sadly, for me, some of that English version has unaccountably veered into a penal substitutionary mode. Having lost a son aged 22 I cannot sing verses which speak of a God as ‘great’ who has sacrificed his son. If this is how a ‘Father God’ behaves I want none of it. In addition it rides light to the incarnation, to God dying, Jurgen Moltmann’s crucified God.

I am aware of the theological gymnastics that people employ to get round this, but why when Atonement theories, are just that. Why not simply return to a translation that more clearly reflects Boberg’s original? Thanks to Hymnary.org for offering E. Gustav Johnson’s translation


When I behold His Son to earth descending,
to help and heal and teach distressed mankind;
When evil flees and death in fear is bending
before the glory of the Lord divine,

With rapture filled, my soul Thy name would laud,
O mighty God! O mighty God!
With rapture filled, my soul Thy name would laud,
O mighty God! O mighty God!

When, crushed by guilt of sin, before Him kneeling
I plead for mercy and for grace and peace,
I feel His balm and, all my bruises healing,
He saves my soul and sets my heart at ease.

Author: Carl Boberg; Translator: E. Gustav Johnson

Translation by E. Gustav Johnson (1893–1974) From Hymnary.org http://www.hymnary.org/text/o_mighty_god_when_i_behold_the_wonder accessed 9/6/2014.

Presidency joins call for more support for people on the lowest incomes

Quoted from a letter to the Prime Minister signed by Faith leaders including the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference

It is the urgent, moral responsibility of the Prime Minister to ensure that people on the lowest incomes have enough to live in the months ahead. Spiralling costs are affecting everyone, but for those who were already fighting to keep their heads above water, this winter’s challenges will be a matter of life and death.”

See the full letter here

For deeper love we share the bread – Jim Burklo

As Jim says, I share..

Words by Jim Burklo
(Use freely, with attribution)
Tune: O Waly Waly (Welsh folk tune) — also known as The Water Is Wide  (listen to James Taylor’s performance of it)
Alternative tune:“Jerusalem” – an unofficial anthem of England 

For deeper love we share the bread
I won’t be full till all are fed
Till every soul has home and bed
The rest of us can’t move ahead

For deeper love we share the wine
I cannot taste the love divine
Till every soul has walked the line
And you’ve had yours as I’ve had mine

Now Mary sings her birthing song
Till every voice can sing along
And voices weak will rise up strong
Her choir is one where all belong

No one’s saved till all are healed
As Jesus on the Mount revealed
Your life and mine forever sealed
Just like the lilies of the field

We follow where the Christ has led
To table that for all is spread
And no one’s sitting at the head
But deeper love in wine and bread….

JIM BURKLO

Senior Associate Dean, Office of Religious Life,
University of Southern California