A calendar has called us
A calendar has called us to share with Christ in Lent,
to walk within the darkness: some drawn, yet others sent;
and here we sense contrition, an ashen cross we bear:
a sign for our remembrance, God’s love is everywhere.
In many different places God's people bear the strain
of human expectation as cruel norms constrain;
for each convention sealing another person's fate,
forgive, release, give freedom before it is too late.
We witness acts of hatred dressed up as self-defence,
where vengeance is the motive hid deep in self-pretence;
great God, forgive those moments, when hate and human pride
lead to the domination of those we might deride.
As Christ you suffered torment, the torture and the hate,
yet on the cross forgave them, the ones who sealed your fate,
so as we kneel confessing complicity, we pray,
great God, forgive our cruelty when selfishness holds sway.
Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2020 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.
Metre: 13 13 13 13
Tangled in prejudice, lost in presumption
Tangled in prejudice, lost in presumption,
locked in our judgments, so sure of our ground;
others are sinful, but we are the righteous,
this is the truth we are sure we have found.
This is our blindness and now we must own it,
owning suspicion of those we deride;
painting them wrongly, unjustly with hatred,
side-stepping honesty, trying to hide.
For like the Pharisees' we are self-serving,
gaining our wealth from the ones we oppress;
sometimes we bring down the ones who would challenge,
this we have done and now this we confess.
In this confession we seek your forgiveness,
God who has touched both the broken and frail.
We were thought strong, but we plead for compassion,
we, the successful, have found we can fail.
Yet you astound us, 'your sins are forgiven',
words that have echoed down into our time.
How can we warrant such scandalous mercy?
Only through grace can you offer this sign.
Andrew Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2011 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: 11 10 11 10
Tune: EPIPHANY HYMN; IN THE BEGINNING GOD PLAYED WITH THE PLANETS