These images will not be diminished by persecuting migrants, nor by making a false distinction between those seeking asylum and so called economic migrants. We need to welcome as fellow human beings people coming to our shores who are fleeing fear or poverty and to provide them with safe passage to our shores and a humanitarian reception. 1 Idyllic beaches break the waves as bathers line the shore This view of peace is now disturbed: an aftermath of war. The ones who fled from lives they knew have gone in fear and dread, the ships that offered hope to them are sunk with many dead. 2 And where is God amid the swell where tides still ebb and flow, unfeeling of this loss of life, as others come and go? The commerce of the world goes on. Can we ignore the pain? It is as though we're blind to see Christ crucified again. 3 The ones who drown are ones we own as neighbours we should love; how can we turn our eyes away, avert our gaze above? For when our politics conspires to shut the door to grace it is as though we turn away from Jesus' tortured face. Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) Words © 2015 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. CMD Tune: KINGSFOLD
This hymn was written some years ago, responding to a call to provide sanctuary for people on the margins by Rev’d Inderjit Bhogal, (Past President of the Methodist Conference) - https://inderjitbhogal.com/category/sanctuary/ - Sadly both the call and the hymn are still pertinent. We wait to welcome guests to our countries.
‘Cities of sanctuary’, could read, ‘Towns offer sanctuary’, ‘Places of sanctuary’ or Churches of sanctuary’, depending on your situation.
Cities of sanctuary, places of safety,
here where all strangers are welcomed and blessed,
we stand with Jesus in love of our neighbour,
here in our actions his love is expressed.
We will act justly while offering mercy,
nurturing humbly a gospel of peace,
welcome all people regardless of status,
counter celebrity, value the least.
Here in a world that is cruel and unyielding
God's hospitality values the poor;
this is the scandal of love without limits,
loving the unloved, then loving them more.
We will not rest till each migrant is welcomed.
We will share bread till the hungry are fed.
We will confront each injustice that greets us,
loving with vigour till hatred is dead.
Andrew Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2008 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.
11 10 11 10
I was welcomed unconditionally, with no requirements or beliefs to be fulfilled, simply by saying to a Minister that I wanted to be part of a people who through a single, simple act, not knowing me, had made me feel valuable and trusted.
I wonder if this ever happens today in churches?
When strangers are unwelcome When strangers are unwelcome the church’s heart beats slow, the lost who run from danger have nowhere left to go. No words of grace are spoken while, looking on the world, the heart of God is broken: love’s banner tightly furled. The people at our borders who need compassion now, reach out for care and shelter, but rules will not allow these ones to seek asylum: we put up legal walls. Before we’ve even met them we disregard their calls. Then images from scripture speak judgment on the church, and call for clearer thinking as values seize or lurch. The Christ that we would worship would turn the world around, and shake us from our comfort, our certain, solid ground. Then shatter walls and windows and let the church reach out, and not with Psalms and anthems, but anger, let us shout condemning every outrage that demonises life, and break the laws that damage, evoking human strife. Andrew Pratt 30/7/2021 Words © 2021 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: 126.96.36.199 D Tune: AURELIA; KINGS LYNN Inspired by a front page item in the Methodist Recorder 30/7/2021 involving an interview with Rev Inderjit Bhogal.
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.