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.

Great God, your love has held our lives – Words to Parry’s Jerusalem

Great God, your love has held our lives
through all the years down to this day.
Your constant presence held us fast:
remain with us we plead and pray.
We’ve seen the ruins left by war,
the tumbled buildings, street by street;
some heard the voices that they loved
and cried for those they’d no more meet.

As time moves on some memories fade,
some griefs we shared lie in the past;
for others pain is just as sharp,
we know their hurt will always last.
Some human acts have swept away
our partners, parents, children, friends,
some people we had never known;
the memory lives and never ends.

Beyond this day we try to live:
a sinew of each life survives,
but where is God in hurt and hate?
The questions stay to haunt our lives.
Help us to build a better world
not fuelled by vengeance, fed by greed;
a world in which we all can live,
what ever colour, race or creed.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) Words © 2015 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.

In the Bible sinful action sees God’s punishment unfurled – https://bramhallmethodists.org.uk/scienceandprayer/

In the Bible sinful action
sees God’s punishment unfurled.
Seismic faults can find their reason
in God’s shaking of the world.
Dualism, human freedom,
‘best of all’ this fractured earth?
Does God punish us for actions
which negate our human worth?

But today does retribution,
witnessed through earth’s fractured crust,
make much sense of God in action
when our cities turn to dust?
Do our people crushed and broken
act as warning, point to God?
Or is good news, clouded, hidden,
buried deep beneath the sod?

Much like Job, we seek an answer,
craft theology with care,
looking for a simple reason,
find new scapegoats standing there.
If we were more deeply honest
we might find it’s Christ who dies,
God who suffers in the present
when we hide behind our lies.

When we value wealth or nation,
see resources to be owned,
see the poor as simple objects,
their humanity dethroned;
then what may be seen as natural
rests on our incompetence,
or on human greed and evil
and on loving’s reticence.

Tune: LUX EOI (StF 400/764)
or ABBOTSLEIGH (UMC 584)
Metre: 8.7.8.7 D

Written in response to Rev’d Professor David Chester’s Seminar on Earthquakes, Volcanoes and God: Theological Perspectives on Natural Disaster
Andrew Pratt, Words © 2019 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.

O God, let intellect be held – God and the mystery of love

O God, let intellect be held
constrained, that I might simply sense
the depth, and mystery, of love
within this present tense.

As music sets the air aflame,
as sense is dumb and flesh retires
God, reach within my heart again
and fan those hidden fires.

As hands reach out to grasp the grace
that bread and wine should mediate,
reach back through hands that you would choose:
disclose, communicate.

Then held at once in paradox,
remembering in present time,
unite again this human flesh
with sacred love divine.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
© 2003 Stainer & Bell Ltd
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