Hymn at a time when people feel excluded – God, save us from the platitudes

God values all – Joel 2: 28 – 29 – hymn at a time when people feel excluded. The prophet Joel said: 
28 Then afterwards I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29 Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
1	God, save us from the platitudes, 
	the empty prayers and hollow praise
	that blind us to hypocrisy
	of every thoughtless word or phrase.
	O take us, mend us, make us one 
	until your work on earth is done. 
	
2	When pride and selfishness demand
	our rights when others suffer hurt,
	when greed and use of wealth exploit
	and push our neighbours in the dirt
	yes, take us, mend us, make us one 
	until your work on earth is done. 
	
3	Within a world of fear-built walls 
	of colour, social class or creed,
	God, help us look with Christ-lit eyes
	for Christ within another's need;
	O, take us, mend us, make us one 
	until your work on earth is done. 
	
4	O God of fundamental grace 
	in which your church has grown and stands,
	great God of self-denying love 
	may hatred die in every land.
	Yes, take us, mend us, make us one 
	until your peace on earth is won.
	
5	Then graceful hospitality
	may welcome angels unaware,
	until your all inclusive love
	spans though all time, is everywhere,
	for by your grace we now are one,
	your hope is gained, your work is done.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2011 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
Tune: ABINGDON 

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


The Good Samaritan …and then some…a hymn

The parable of the Good Samaritan points us to an unexpected neighbour (Luke 10:25-37). Elsewhere Jesus explains that whenever we greet the least of our neigbours we welcome him. And what if instead of seeing the Samaritan as the model of Jesus we turn the parable around…that it is Jesus in the person of the one left injured? It is not just angels that we entertain unawares…

1 Anonymous you come among the nations,
outside the door of synagogue or church,
and what you say will shake the world’s foundations,
will make the sinner sing, the righteous lurch.

2 You come with grace, not seeking any favours,
except a cup of water for your thirst,
and those dismissing you with other ravers
will find that they are last and others first.

3 The ones who offer you a share of shelter,
or visit you when you are locked inside,
who pause a moment on life’s helter-skelter,
will be rewarded for their lack of pride.

4 The ones who care, not simply for your beauty,
who hold you in the sickness of your age,
who walk with you beyond the call of duty
are ones who share the true Messiah’s stage.

5 ‘You clothed me in my nakedness and squalor’,
said Christ to those who fully understood
that love cannot equate with pound or dollar,
is found in acts of simply doing good.

Andrew Pratt, 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.
Metre: 11 10 11 10
Tune: INTERCESSOR

A hymn for this time…Ukraine, Russia, NATO, the world…and its people…

As we move towards Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and Lent, a moment to pause. By the time you read this the tension in Ukraine may have eased or increased. Let this be a moment to remember that our faith has a worldwide perspective as we share words written in Poland while listening to a lecture by Joachim Waloszek on Polish hymns.

1	The words we sing are wrung from broken hearts, 
	are formed within the soil of time and place, 
	are rooted in our history and this time, 
	yet ring with changeless mystery and grace. 
	
2	Our treasure is the very grace of God, 
	the pearl that we would lose our lives to hold,
	this gift we guard with frail yet gentle hands, 
	to share among God's people young or old.
	
3	We sing with others met along the way 
	who speak our language or another tongue, 
	who walk beside us on the road to heaven,
	who stumble, fly or fall till life is won.
	
4	The words we sing now whisper sighs of joy, 
	transcending all we fear within this place, 
	they ring with endless, everlasting hope, 
	they celebrate the freedom of God's grace.

Andrew Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2009 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

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)