What is this love?

What is this love? Just this we know 
that love transcends all pomp and show, 
that love exists, above below, 
love was and is and is to be, 
by grace we are both loved and free.


What is this love? It precedes life, it overcomes all dark and strife, love is the Spirit’s keenest knife, pure love has brightness in its eyes, yet breathes forever, never dies.
Love is the interface of change, no difference rests beyond its range, its nature gracious, other, strange, it holds birth, death and all between, here all is safe: both hidden, seen.
Love is the point where hell is breached, where joy is glimpsed and heaven reached, the outcasts find they’re unimpeached, on this wide earth the lost are found for love is safe, is solid ground.
Andrew Pratt 17/4/2022

While the nations guard their borders,

While the nations guard their borders, 
cherished cultures, ways of life,
people struggle for survival,
children die while fleeing strife.
Can we hear with calm acceptance
what the news has got to tell?
Can we claim to follow Jesus
while the world drifts into hell?


Hell is where there’s no more loving,
close at hand, not out of sight,
what we make denying others
grace of love, or hope of light.
When compassion’s drained and stranded,
voices might as well be dumb
human cries that we’ve avoided
fall on ears both blocked and numb.


Christ is calling in each murmur,
in each whisper framing need,
silence louder than God’s thunder,
loud enough to quell our greed;
yet we close our ears, our senses,
dreading every troubling fact,
lest we feel the pain of others
forcing us to rise and act.

©Andrew Pratt
26/11/2021



What is hell, if not the anguish – Advent 2

What is hell, if not the anguish
heaped on those whom humankind
treat with hatred and derision,
harsh disdain that we’ve refined?

Images of fire and torture
stalk among us while we live,
not in some dark, distant future,
but in love we fail to give.

So the cry of disaffected,
disregarded human souls,
indicate the dereliction
chosen through our human polls.

We are architects of anguish
when we seek to put aside,
love of those God calls our neighbour,
those ignored that we deride.

Andrew Pratt 4/12/2019
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.

Matthew 3: 1-12
Psalm 88

Love matters for our future https://bramhallmethodists.org.uk/scienceandprayer/

Love matters for our future,
love founded in our past;
love woven through the present,
in hope that love will last.
This love is simply, human,
profoundly, love divine;
yet love can change another,
change lives like yours and mine

While we prefer the comfort
of minds akin to ours,
the gentle reassurance
of quiet refreshing hours;
in hell and not in heaven is
where the Christ is found,
the rough and trammeled pathway,
the trampled, bloodied ground.

But can we love another
and freely offer grace,
regardless of the neighbour
within our human race?
To always be uplifting,
to love and not condemn,
will model every person
as us and not as them.

Andrew Pratt 28/9/2019 – Science and the Language of Prayer. Written in response to Ruth Armstrong’s lecture. Seminar 1. Criminology.
Tune:AURELIA
Metre: 7.6.7.6D
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.