Always missing, never grasping – hymn for the Third Sunday of Easter

Always missing, never grasping, 
hope amid this shifting sea, 
coast and haven seem remote now, 
too far off to harbour me.
Yet those fishermen are telling 
news that I can't comprehend, 
news that Jesus is still living, 
hasn't met his final end.
	
But I saw his body hanging 
silhouetted like a sail, 
blood was draining, rigor rising,
movement quietened, life gone pale. 
Now they say that sail is filling, 
spirit billows drive him on, 
Christ is cresting all disaster, 
life returns and death is gone.
	
Yet unless I see the bow wave, 
feel the tiller in my hand, 
sense the tautness of the lanyard, 
I can hardly understand.
Source of wind and wave, my sailor, 
give me faith to grasp this news, 
you are living, death defying, 
heaven, earth and joy will fuse.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) Words © 2015 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: 8 7 8 7 D
Tune: LEWIS FOLK MELODY


Watercolour from Words, Images and Imagination © Andrew Pratt

Much brighter than a thousand suns – a Transfiguration hymn

I have always thought that the gospel accounts that point to the identity of Jesus as Christ, God’s anointed person, God with us, lay down three markers. As Jesus comes with the crowds of people to the River Jordan, to identify with them in Baptism by John, he is saying by his action that he is son of a man, human like us. In unison with this the writers gospel record God’s words, this is my Son, my beloved. Finally, Resurrection and Ascension confirm all that has gone before. Midway in the whole narrative of Jesus life, between these other events, is placed an account of the Transfiguration. Jesus has gone up a mountain with some of his disciples. Matthew 17: 2 says, ‘he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white’. This hymn starts at this point:

1	Much brighter than a thousand suns, 
	the source of life, eternal grace; 
	light of the cosmos and this world 
	now shining from a saviour's face.
	Upon the mountain's towering height
	they saw transfiguration's light.
	
2	This man, this Jesus, they had known, 
	who called them once by Galilee, 
	now stood upon the mountaintop, 
	he seemed exalted, shining, free. 
	Disciples caught in stark surprise 
	had shielded dazzled, blinded eyes.
	
3	Free of the bonds of human life 
	and distanced by some greater power, 
	a strange yet mystic harmony 
	joined earth and heaven in this hour.
	It seemed that God was very near,
	inspiring awe, dispelling fear.
	
4	The height of love, the depth of grace,
	the dazzling birth of something new,
	a supernova magnified, 
	a stunning, startling, shining view, 
	for God affirmed Christ's human worth
	illuminating all the earth. 

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2012 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: 8 8 8 8 8 8
Tunes: ABINGDON; SAGINA

An old hymn, that many may know: ‘Stay, Master, stay upon this heavenly hill’, concludes the event, for the story goes on and after this height of exaltation as we return to what was normal. A message for us all perhaps…

	No, saith the Lord, the hour is past, we go;
	Our home, our life, our duties lie below.
	While here we kneel upon the mount of prayer,
	The plough lies waiting in the furrow there.
	Here we sought God that we might know his will;
	There we must do it, serve him, seek him still.
                                        (Samuel Greg, 1804-1876)

Discipleship, justice and mercy – a hymn

This last week some of us have remembered Jesus being presented in the temple. Soon our readings turn to the calling of disciples. We follow in their footsteps. As we do we are presented, not just with things we should believe, but how we live, the values we should hold.


1 God's commandments link together justice, mercy, love and grace; elements to guide the framing of our laws within this place. Yet the laws and legal judgments that we form through human thought, all too easily diminish values that the Christ had sought.
2 As we follow in his footsteps as disciples, let us find, ways to live in peace together, ways that bring God's grace to mind; ways of gracious peaceful living, that might spread throughout the earth, ways of God's audacious giving: let the spirit find new birth.
Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) Words © 2015 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: 8 7 8 7 D Tune: BETHANY (Smart)


Up! Up and away! – Ascension Hymn

Up! Up and away! Was it really that crazy?
Seems too much like magic, so hard to believe.
His ministry ended. The cross was behind him.
Disciples commissioned, so much to receive.

The Spirit was coming, the mission beginning,
the world was their parish to love and to hold.
Disciples went on in the strength of that Spirit,
a Spirit of power to inspire and enfold.

But that would come later, for now they were waiting,
in hiding, reflecting on all they had seen;
on all Jesus taught them, in words and through wonders,
in all they had heard, of whom Jesus had been.

This Jesus had promised, had challenged, encouraged,
had offered them peace that the world could not give.
And soon all the earth would be spun on it’s axis,
and we share that Spirit, in Christ we will live!

Andrew Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2011 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: STREETS OF LAREDO
Metre: 12 11 12 11
As published in The Seed – http://www.seedresources.com <http://www.seedresources.com&gt;