Beatitude hymn – In places where there is no church

The Beatitudes are enigmatic – blessings for those who seem least blessed (Luke 6: 17 – 26). I’ve often thought that part of our calling as Christians is to embody and enable those blessings by our love in action. Jesus shows us how. This hymn was inspired by this theme

1 In places where there is no church,
where hope is hard to find,
we touch the hands made rough by life
to seek a common mind.
We go where others would not go,
perhaps would fear to tread,
to go beyond our walls and ways
wherever we are led.

2 Where commerce rules we ply our trade,
our currency is grace,
and all we have to offer is
God's love to fill this place.
In prisons where we sit with those
whom justice has condemned,
we seek to mirror Jesus' love
that fear might have an end.

3 And while a person lives in pain
a quiet voice can say,
this time will pass, love holds you still,
we'll see another day.
In searing heat or arctic cold
where lives are ripped and torn,
or where a family waits in fear
we share another dawn.

4 And is it arrogant to say
we look with Jesus' eyes?
We seek to see his face in all,
to hear him in their sighs.
And so our calling is to serve,
to go where Christ has led,
go out, go all, go to the world,
God's people must be fed.

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: CMD
Tune: WORKING FOR CHRIST (by Camilla Cederholm who I met in Finland – see More than hymns, No.70)

‘Is this the day’ – poem – reflection on Coronavirus inspired by thoughts of Simon Sutcliffe – link below

Is this the day that dawns today, when all the world stands still,
when human lives are challenged in their arrogant, self-will?
Is this a time to sound again the grace which from our youth
Has brought us to this point in time to face eternal truth?

We wonder at the rhythms of creation we observe,
the genesis of all we see, the laws we sense and serve,
yet when we read in scripture of the wonders of this course,
we tend to shut our eyes to one last day of rest at source.

Now is the moment action takes the place of hollow sighs,
the sighs that speak of emptiness, of loneliness and lies;
great God, within this Sabbath rest we question and explore,
is this a time when you recede, a tide drawn from the shore?
Now is a time of deep compassion, caring and concern,
when every person needs the love that money cannot earn.
This is a time when values shift and search for solid ground,
to put aside our selfishness to go where grace is found.

© Andrew Pratt 17/3/2020

I have already found the political emphasis on economics in the face of the Coronavirus to be rather tiresome. Surely care of one another ought to be foremost and enabling the security of every person ought to take priority over all else.




At the turning of the year…

The danger of a storm of cliches hovers in the wings…
metaphors mix it with each other…
tides turn, seas ebb…
moons set, suns rise…
worlds spin on their axes…

Strange that marking a year’s end
and a new beginning
feels like a monument rising,
a tower falling,
a significant event
when naming of days is arbitrary.

The rev-counting globe,
moon’s phases
are built in,
each day the same,

So why this apprehension?

Why my uncertainty?

that death is nearer than it was?

importing significance to tasks left incomplete?

The intractable magnetism of mystery,
drawing and repelling?

The cliches are gathering…

Andrew Pratt 27/12/2018