The Gospel according to John says nothing about Jesus’ birth. It talks of ‘The Word’ becoming flesh. We can translate that today as ‘the energy, the source of all creation becoming human’. In shorthand God becoming human. This hymn echoes John Chapter 1. 1 The logic, the life-blood, the source of creation, the word that had spoken when all came to be; the ground of existence, of love and emotion, this God is incarnate, the light is set free. 2 This light in the darkness could not be extinguished, it shone through the cosmos, was coming to birth; the great conflagration of stars in their forming condensed to humanity, born on the earth. 3 The person of Jesus who walked in the desert, who argued and struggled, who hungered and wept, was one with that God-head, yet totally human, was growing and learning, could know or forget. 4 So here in this person our God is illumined, the word that is spoken, the love that is lived, are clues to the nature, a window beyond us to things we have doubted, to One we believed. Andrew Pratt (born 1948) based on John 1 Words © 2010 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: 12 11 12 11 Tunes: ST CATHERINES COURT; STREETS OF LAREDO
God is crying mid the carnage – a hymn at the time of Ukrainian Christmas
God is crying mid the carnage of a thousand broken bones; in the dust and fallen rubble of our long discarded homes. Where our children play out stories of the visions they have seen, God is weeping over losses, knowing just what might have been. What if love instead of horror filled the passion of our lives, could these stories be re-written where humanity survives? God still with us, God among us, sow new seeds of love through grace; help us look at one another building hope in every place. Andrew Pratt (8/1/2023) Words © 2023 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: 188.8.131.52 Tunes: CROSS OF JESUS (Stainer); LAUS DEO (Redhead) Written after listening to the BBC Radio 4 Sunday Service on 8/1/2023 ‘The message that Ukraine is trying to convey to the world as it celebrates its own Christmas Day’. The programme posed the question, 'Where is God' in this war? See also We hear the news in anguish - Thoughts on pacifism - God's on our side
Advent 4 – A hymn – ‘Like many children’
Advent 4 A hymn - Like many children - God with no throne (inspired by Matthew 1: 18-25)...away in a manger? Like many children, mother unmarried, born into hardship, yet not alone Jesus, was valued, Mary and Joseph, nursing the Godhead, God with no throne. Others would name him king of a kingdom, yet God incarnate lay in the straw, God in a manger? Fodder for cattle? Parents uncertain, no sign of awe? Soon they would struggle, hounded to exile, night brought no comfort, only one star; moment of wonder, quietly, no thunder, angels would whisper, heard from afar. Andrew Pratt 11/12/2022 Words © 2022 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: 184.108.40.206D Tune: BUNESSAN (Morning has broken)
Creator God: in lightning, clouds and thunder – a new hymn
Creator God: in lightning, clouds and thunder, I hear your voice, I sense the mountains shake. But love is greater, causes me to wonder, and in this moment faith begins to wake. So I will sing in praise of all I see, and in God's grace, I place my trust; and through our lives may love confound our fear. Sing praise to God, for God is love. I look to stars, foundations of creation, reflections gleam from streams as I pass by, from mountain pass to shingle by the ocean, the breath of God is moving with each sigh. Within this world a human once embodied a depth of love beyond what had been known, a love that gave forgiveness once in dying, that we could find in life, that all could own. And when my breath is ceasing as I’m dying may grace confirm the hope that faith has given, this human love that I have known in living grows firmer, deeper in the love of heaven. © Andrew Pratt 29/9/2022
Beyond where light can image (The God of cosmic question) – in the ‘light’ of the first image from the James Webb telescope
Beyond where light can image,
can infra-red probe truth:
dark matter that might harbour
what set creation loose,
where human senses lead us,
through all they analyse,
from arrogance to wonder,
to spiritual surprise?
But senses have their limits:
unanswered yet there lies
the single, deepest question
our intellect supplies.
Yet faith can proffer insight:
the Christ of time and space
speaks of a God incarnate
born in a squalid place.
Alive within our compass,
upon this ravaged earth,
the God of cosmic question
surprised us once in birth!
Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) (amended 2019 & 2022 by author)
Originally The God of cosmic question
© 1991, alt 2022 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.