When strangers are unwelcome – those needing asylum

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 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: 7.6.7.6 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.



For a continuing time of COVID – HYMN/PRAYER – When the weeping of the nations

 When the weeping of the nations 
 fills our hearts with holy dread, 
 when a virus rings with pity 
 those who cannot reach their dead,
 God is in our consternation, 
 weeping by each sufferer’s bed. 
  
 Distanced, lacking human comfort,
 no more in a mother’s arms, 
 fearful faces peer through visors 
 watching, even breathing harms, 
 knowing only humane kindness 
 brings the peace that heals, disarms. 
 
 God bring strength in human weakness, 
 give us grace that we might see 
 through the mists of mortal blindness 
 how to live through agony, 
 how through quiet compassion, silence, 
 we might mark our empathy.

Andrew Pratt 31/12/2020
Words © 2021 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: PICARDY    Metre: 87 87 87
   

‘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
https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=simon%20sutcliffe&epa=SEARCH_BOX

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.

 

 

 

Why are we forsaking them?

20180921-IMG_1863Hard to complain,
sounds churlish…
presents and tinsel
adorn and clutter,
in ‘tales of old’ the candles gutter.

Replete from the feast,
sleepy,
why should I moan?
Nor yet lament,
cry out:
‘my God, my God…why are we forsaking them?’

Washed by a tsunami,
shaken by earthquakes,
threatened by fire, dust, lava.
And our compassion rises,
as soon is dissipated.

Yet closer,
on our shores,
tiny rubber dinghies bring a ‘threatening cargo’
of migrant people who,
so says the lie,
‘present a crisis’.

Voices are strident or silent,
and the slaughter of the innocents passes,
largely unremarked,
in our churches.

Yet still they come.
And we, anything but innocent,
‘standby to repel boarders’
instead of asking
‘why do they come?’
And facing with honesty the truth
that people do not run into danger
unless running from something worse?

Avoiding eye contact, I draw patterns in wet sand.
And lamenting, I weep,
‘my God, my God…why are we forsaking them?

Andrew Pratt 31/12/2018