A hymn inspired by John 9: 1 – 41…As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned 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 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: 11 10 11 10 Tunes: EPIPHANY HYMH; IN THE BEGINNING GOD PLAYED WITH THE PLANETS
Thoughts on Grace
Grace is uncondionally and universally extended to all. The human response to this is ‘that cannot be’. How can Grace be given to those who…? In consequence humanity, over generations, has constructed conditions to be met. or ways in which this might be enabled (Atonement theories). This is only necessary because the concept of universal unconditional Grace is beyond human understanding, it is a mystery which we, perhaps, need to face with honest agnosticism.
Grace ‘never passed by one, or it had passed by me’ (Charles Wesley).
Salt and Light – a hymn inspired by Matthew 5: 13 – 20
This hymn was inspired by – Matthew 5: 13 – 20 1 When all the stars burn out, or all the seas run dry, God's love and law will still remain, they soar beyond the sky. 2 When justice is denied, or people are constrained, God's righteousness cannot be found, or hopeful joy retained. 3 Bring savour to the world: this saltiness we share is evidence of godliness that we are meant to bear. 4 For us to be of use, like standards that will shine we need God's power to offer grace through symbol, act and sign. 5 Saltshakers giving taste, light bearers through the night, world changers in the name of Christ we bring God's reign in sight. Andrew Pratt (born 1948) based on Matthew 5 vs 13-20 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: 6 6 8 6 Tune: CARLISLE
The Beatitudes – a hymn – A contradictory blessing
The Beatitudes - A contradictory blessing The gospel reading appointed for this coming Sunday, Matthew 5:1-12, is known as the Beatitudes. The following hymn was inspired by this passage: 1 A contradictory blessing of those who feel unblessed, when life is torn and twisted for this to be redressed; a time of reparation and yet a time for grace when those who feel forsaken will meet God face to face. 2 And in that time of meeting, the hurt will find new joy, the poor will welcome riches, more than they could deploy; the mourning will find comfort, the lost will see God's light to bring them to the dawning, beyond their darkest night. 3 The ones who ache with hunger will share a glorious feast, and those reviled and hated will find they are released. The gentle will inherit the greatest gift of all, while rafters ring with laughter where crying filled the hall. Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) Words © 2015 © 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: 7 6 7 6 D Tune: THORNBURY
If God is love, then God in love unites us – Christian Unity
If God is love, then God in love unites us If God is love, then God in love unites us, the essence of our being, sense and life, how can we be divided, for our nature is rooted in this Spirit, transcends strife. The ethic by which all our life is driven is grounded in relationship and prayer, for where love joins us, weaving bonds of friendship, be sure to find that God, through grace, is dwelling there. If this is so, then what can separate us: our human ego, hubris or our pride? For when we argue, struggle with each other, like children we are fighting for our side. Without God holding us we’re hollow cymbals, we need to let Love guide our ebb and flow, till entering the stream of love together, the harmony of hope through trust will surely show. Andrew Pratt 15/1/2023 written for Northwich & District Churches Together, with thanks to Robert Bridge for inspiration. Words © 2023 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: LONDONDERRY AIR