Jesus sent out his disciples in pairs to places where he would go. Where they were greeted with hospitality, there they were to rest. Hospitality of welcome was the key hope. I wonder who would welcome us today – if we arrived with ‘no purse, no bag, no sandals’ – destitute? And who, like this, would we welcome?
1 We cannot make an easy, safe distinction,
all people are our neighbours, none denied;
the voices of all nations heard beside us:
all sisters, brothers, none we should deride.
2 The wall between the peoples has been broken,
in love of God divisions disappear;
as seen in Christ we recognise our neighbours
We greet unusual faces without fear.
3 We celebrate each difference God has given;
each nation, black and white, both straight and gay;
the able and the challenged God has offered
that we might share together, learn and pray.
4 We meet with those who paint a different picture,
who value God in words not yet our own,
in dialogue we offer one another
a vision we could never find alone.
5 This God we seek is greater than each difference,
the source and ground of all variety,
the centre and the soul of all creation
erasing hate with love to set us free.
Andrew Pratt, Words © 2008 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.
Metre: 11 10 11 10
Change us, God, into the likeness
of yourself, through perfect grace;
let your loving faith unite us,
till in each we see your face.
If you are our common parent
in whose image we are made,
then our varied traits, our being,
in your person are displayed.
In your presence all are welcome,
welcome, just as we are formed,
and where prejudice divides us
let our vision be reformed.
In the tension of deciding
may your gracious spirit lend
openness and understanding,
help our enmity to end.
Andrew Pratt 24/4/2021 Written in response to the Chester & Stoke on Trent Methodist Synod discussion on the report ‘God in Love Unites Us’.
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: CHAPEL BRAE (Singing the Faith 610); LOVE DIVINE (Stainer)