Lent 3 1 Corinthians 1: 18-25 Poem: One Big Question When worldly wisdom and superior knowledge and intellectual snobbery and informed atheism have died the death of earthly flesh and fragile brain, will God be quietly weeping over the waste, even as the cross blazes out its triumphant foolishness? © Marjorie Dobson. This may be used personally or for local worship, but not published elsewhere without permission. John 2: 13-22 We play at church We play at church, one long charade, a trite religious game, and all the time the world goes by, Christ dies again in vain. The down-and-out wish for our tithes, the homeless plead and pray, while we enact our sullen rite, our crass religious play. We watch defenceless ones denied, the ones we should defend, we keep the best place for ourselves, self-righteous to the end. O God forgive our self-deceit, hypocrisy and pride. God, bring us down to dine with you and those we would deride. God, give us hearts of gracious love, to look beyond our greed, to live and love with those you call, at one in hope and need. Andrew E Pratt Words © 2015 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England email@example.com . 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: CM Tune: AULD LANG SYNE Poem: Anger Whip in hand and uncharacteristically angry, Jesus swept through the temple courtyard. Tables were smashed, money scattered; pigeons found freedom in flight and sacrificial animals fled to safety. His voice boomed across the rapidly emptying space – ‘this is desecration! How can strangers worship here in a place over-run with commerce and greed? My Father’s house is for prayer, not for profit! How dare you do this to it?’ And traders huddled in corners and tried to keep their eyes on their vanishing possessions. And priests flocked to witness the devastation and to gather in consultation and to plot their revenge. And strangers came out of the shadows to wonder at the nerve of this man who had said exactly what they wanted to hear, but so powerfully that he was bound to create new enemies for himself. And as Jesus turned to leave, the accused robbers spat at his departure; the opportunists gathered all the loot they could and disappeared into the shadows; and the self-righteous Jewish believers could only ask for proof of authority for his actions. They didn’t like his answer. It was completely unrealistic. But in the end it proved to be true, although not in the way they were expecting. Three days they had succeeded in destroying him, but in three days he was back. Indestructible! © Marjorie Dobson. This may be used personally or for local worship, but not published elsewhere without permission. Our vulnerable God suffered pain and temptation Our vulnerable God suffered pain and temptation, rode lightly to wealth, saw the greedy as flawed. And we, as disciples, who walk in Christ's footsteps are challenged to follow, to love, not defraud. Transparent in action, confronting injustice, upbraiding the rich, while upraising the poor. He called us to welcome the outcast, the homeless, by giving, not taking, by opening each door. Let taxes revalue the lost and discarded, ensuring the powerful will equally share; until all the world is redeemed for all people, until inequality ends as unfair. And now as we look to the world let us value, each person, each neighbour of infinite worth, through sharing and stewardship to lift up the lowly, to raise out of poverty all upon earth. Andrew Pratt Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England firstname.lastname@example.org . 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 © Stainer & Bell Ltd Metre: 12 11 12 11 Tune: STREETS OF LAREDO; ST CATHERINE’S COURT
Let us reach beyond the winter – a hymn for our time
1 Let us reach beyond the winter through this dark, depressive gloom, may the light of Christ come shining into every shuttered room. 2 May the sunshine of the spring time warm each frozen heart and mind, melting prejudice and anger by love faithful, strong and kind. 3 Now profound anticipation wakens hope and offers grace, as we press, with God beside us, to the future we must face. 4 God who shares our darkest moments, God of harmony and praise, lead us on until you greet us, God the goal of all our days. Andrew Pratt (born 1948) © 2004 Stainer & Bell Ltd 8 7 8 7 Tune: LOVE DIVINE (Stainer) Andrew Pratt Words © 2004 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.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.
Where is the care for the silent care-giver?
Where is the care for the silent care-giver,
drowning in tragedy, lost or alone?
Where is our God in such life and such living?
Here in our pain, or remote on some throne?
God, are you deaf to our crying, our pleading?
Why are you absent when we feel so lost?
Come to the centre of need and exhaustion,
help us feel valued, while sharing the cost.
Here in frustration, in folly, when kindness
seems to be hollow, not grasping the fact:
inside our hearts may be broken or dying.
God bring your mending to lives that have cracked.
Then for tomorrow may hope that is buried
push through our anger, our darkness and night,
opening our hearts to divine love and healing,
leading from hopelessness out into light.
Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Metre: 11 10 11 10
Words © 2014 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.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.