Advent 1 – hymn – This is the time of waiting

Advent – a time of waiting – more than a calendar with sweets, more than an extra candle lit each Sunday, perhaps a time to move from darkness into light, from penitence to praise?

A hymn inspired by Isaiah 2:2

2:2 In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.

1	This is the time of waiting,
	the calm before the storm,
	the time of Advent judgement,
	the coming of the dawn;
	a time of recollection,
	of Christ's audacious hope,
	beyond imagination,
	outside our human scope.

2	The nations will be gathered,
	the age will be fulfilled,
	the judgement be enacted,
	as Christ had hoped and willed.
	But for this consummation
	such birth-pangs will be felt, 
	like rupturing of wine-skins, 
	the earth will heave and melt. 

3	For love to be exalted, 
	for hatred to be banned, 
	our human goals must shatter,
	division must be spanned. 
	A change of mind is needed 
	as we are turned around, 
	to move from desecration, 
	to find love's solid ground. 

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2018 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: 7 6 7 6 D
Tune: AURELIA

What sharp protestations might echo the prophets – hymn at the time of parliamentary disagreement

What sharp protestations might echo the prophets,
could mirror the actions of Christ and the cross?
We witness indifference, inaction and malice,
that break up communities, add to our loss.

But how can we counter political action
that builds upon selfishness slander and lies,
that blinds us to suffering, homelessness, hunger,
ignoring these needs as our barren earth dies?

While violence surrounds us, our dark contemplation
breeds hopelessness, helplessness, absence of light;
yet here in the darkness a spark might still smoulder,
that love might still fan to dispel hatred’s night.

Join hands now, God’s people, let love be our watchword,
let Christ be our model of life giving grace,
that those of each nation, the war torn, the migrant,
may find they are welcome right now in this place.

Andrew Pratt 31/8/2019
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.
Tune: WAS LEBET, WAS SCHWEBET (or possibly THE ASH GROVE)

Written at a time when parliament was due to be prorogued.

We will not own the words of hate – a plea for mutual humanity

We will not own the words of hate
that lead to horror, carnage, death;
our song is love and only love,
from now until our final breath.

We stand with those who share with us,
humanity and human grace,
and those who own a different way,
another heritage or face.

God, show us how to join our hands,
to value life, to share and pray,
until we break down walls of hate
embodying a different way.
Andrew Pratt 23/4/2019
Tune: RIVAULX
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.

After the bombing of churches in Sri Lanka, at a time when inter-faith tension has a risk of increasing across the globe.

Maundy Thursday – Good Friday – Pilate

God or self? the timeless question,
greeting all of humankind.
When we meet Christ in our neighbour
God and self should be aligned.

Will we wash our hands of duty
when decisions must be made,
simply standing at on the sidelines
when the action could be played?

Will we emphasise compassion,
or the greed of our desire,
light the lamp of love among us
or extinguish hidden fire?

Will we build up walls of hatred
shielding us from human need,
or reach out with loving kindness
to the ones we ought to feed?

When we meet Christ in our neighbour
God and self should be aligned.
God or self? the timeless question,
greeting all of humankind.
Andrew Pratt 14/4/2019 After a sermon by Tim Simms
Tune: ALL FOR JESUS
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.