New Year hymn, a resolution, perhaps – Infectious faith

1	Infectious faith we demonstrate by action,  
	when words are lived and people feel God's grace,  
	when platitudes are kept in quiet abeyance,  
	and love expressed through every human face.  

2	This is the witness we are called to offer: 
	the smile of welcome and the touch of care,  
	when every neighbour frames the Christ we honour,  
	the angel that we're greeting unaware. 

3	My friend, we cannot claim to grace the Godhead 
	when those who stand in tatters at our door 
	are turned away without a moment's notice,  
	while others sleep upon a stone cold floor.  

4	Our faith and love are nothing, simply empty,  
	just words we fling against a cloud filled sky,  
	when those we see derided, disregarded, 
	are left, without our protest, just to die. 

5	Are we to be just noisy, clanging cymbals,  
	or signs of hope upon this cold, dark earth?  
	Ours is the calling now to re-imagine 
	the love of God, to sign each person's worth. 

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) Words © 2016 © 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: 11 10 11 10
Tune: INTERCESSOR

Idyllic beaches break the waves – a hymn relating to migration and asylum – sadly still pertinent..

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

 

Cities of sanctuary – welcoming migrants

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 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.
11 10 11 10
Tune: STEWARDSHIP