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In the beginning was the Word – a Hymn

The Gospel according to John says nothing about Jesus’ birth. It talks of ‘The Word’ becoming flesh. We can translate that today as ‘the energy, the source of all creation becoming human’. In shorthand God becoming human. This hymn echoes John Chapter 1.

1	The logic, the life-blood, the source of creation, 
	the word that had spoken when all came to be;
	the ground of existence, of love and emotion, 
	this God is incarnate, the light is set free.
	
2	This light in the darkness could not be extinguished, 
	it shone through the cosmos, was coming to birth;
	the great conflagration of stars in their forming 
	condensed to humanity, born on the earth.
	
3	The person of Jesus who walked in the desert, 
	who argued and struggled, who hungered and wept, 
	was one with that God-head, yet totally human, 
	was growing and learning, could know or forget.
	
4	So here in this person our God is illumined, 
	the word that is spoken, the love that is lived, 
	are clues to the nature, a window beyond us 
	to things we have doubted, to One we believed. 

Andrew Pratt (born 1948) based on John 1 
Words © 2010 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.
Metre: 12 11 12 11
Tunes: ST CATHERINES COURT; STREETS OF LAREDO

God is crying mid the carnage – a hymn at the time of Ukrainian Christmas

God is crying mid the carnage 
of a thousand broken bones; 
in the dust and fallen rubble 
of our long discarded homes.
 
Where our children play out stories 
of the visions they have seen, 
God is weeping over losses, 
knowing just what might have been.
 
What if love instead of horror 
filled the passion of our lives, 
could these stories be re-written 
where humanity survives?
 
God still with us, God among us, 
sow new seeds of love through grace; 
help us look at one another 
building hope in every place.
Andrew Pratt (8/1/2023)

Words © 2023 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

Metre: 8.7.8.7
Tunes: CROSS OF JESUS (Stainer); LAUS DEO (Redhead)

Written after listening to the BBC Radio 4 Sunday Service on 8/1/2023 ‘The message that Ukraine is trying to convey to the world as it celebrates its own Christmas Day’.

The programme posed the question, 'Where is God' in this war?

See also We hear the news in anguish
- Thoughts on pacifism
- God's on our side



Hymn for Epiphany – Like butterflies emerging in the cold

Around Christmas, in 2010, I was leading worship when a butterfly fluttered down and landed on the pulpit. It was brightly coloured and, in the cold of winter, utterly out of place…and so a hymn fitting for the 6th January, Epiphany…

1	Like butterflies emerging in the cold, 
	incongruous strangers punctuate this birth; 
	while snow and frosted windows paint the scene
	and God in human flesh has come to earth.
	
2	Exotic strangers, carried on the wind, 
	the wind of wisdom, fathomed by their thought. 
	Obscure and out of place, these coloured robes, 
	as out of place as all the gifts they brought.
	
3	And yet they have a place in every play, 
	in signalling God's universal grace, 
	that those who fit and others who are strange,
	are held by God in every time and place.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2015 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
Metre: 10 10 10 10
Tune ELLERS; HIGHLAND CATHEDRAL