From Rev Dr Inderjit Bhogal, former President of the Methodist Conference, and shared with his permission and encouragement:
“The gospel does not go from crucifixion to crucifixion. It goes from crucifixion to resurrection. Anything that goes from suffering to suffering contradicts the gospel. The Nationality and Borders Bill currently before Parliament is a case in point. It treats already suffering people with more suffering and humiliation. It treats people as deserving and undeserving refugees. The criteria to determine refugee status is not fleeing suffering but the means of travel and routes taken. Sending people seeking sanctuary to Rwanda is inhumane, cruel, morally bankrupt and theologically nonsense. It demonises harmless people, dehumanises human beings, sanctions hatred and hostility. It takes people from crucifixion to crucifixion. We need safe routes for all refugees, from anywhere in the world. Government has a duty by UN Refugee Convention to provide safe care and hospitality for all refugees. Justice, mercy and humility, not injustice, cruelty and humiliation for all the crucified people of the world. This is the challenge of redemption, resurrection, restoration.”
1 Harassed, haunted child of Mary
[Haunted, harassed child of Mary]*
ran before he learned to crawl,
filled with horror, those who loved him,
those who gave to him their all,
tore him from his bed and birth place,
blown before the sudden squall.
2 Doubt and danger dogged each footfall,
normal sounds now raised their fear;
noises in a cobbled courtyard:
Herod's minions drawing near?
Or the waking sounds of morning?
Nothing now is safe or clear.
3 Out of this endangered childhood,
rootless, no asylum found,
grew the strength of God to greatness,
yet with thorns his brow was crowned:
clothes divided, scourged, derided,
suffering without a sound.
4 Dare we beautify the image
when Christ's heirs still walk this earth,
when our children, harassed, hounded,
suffer death before their birth,
while their parents' haunted hunger
speaks of their discarded worth?
Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
*Alternative first line suggested by Alan Gasser via Facebook to enable the rhythm to be better caught. Thanks Andrew.
Words © 2000 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: 8 7 8 7 8 7 Trochaic
Our borders, our walls mock the faith that we own,
denying the Christ that we claim to enthrone,
for Christ is our neigbour to love or reject,
for us to disdain, or to treat with respect.
The justice of God is as real as our flesh,
as real as each life that we drown or refresh;
as active as righteousness seen in the cross,
where love met with hatred while bearing the loss.
And now, in this moment, we need to decide,
our crisis of conscience to love or deride:
to claim that some small print lets us off the hook,
or answer, with courage, Christ's challenging look?
Andrew Pratt 14/7/2019
Words © 2019 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.
Tune: ST DEINIO
This is pertinent to the situation that we live in. Today people in this country who are different live in fear. The best we can offer to those who are different from ourselves, in whatever way, is to enable them to feel accepted and welcome and not afraid.