1 Infectious faith we demonstrate by action,
when words are lived and people feel God's grace,
when platitudes are kept in quiet abeyance,
and love expressed through every human face.
2 This is the witness we are called to offer:
the smile of welcome and the touch of care,
when every neighbour frames the Christ we honour,
the angel that we're greeting unaware.
3 My friend, we cannot claim to grace the Godhead
when those who stand in tatters at our door
are turned away without a moment's notice,
while others sleep upon a stone cold floor.
4 Our faith and love are nothing, simply empty,
just words we fling against a cloud filled sky,
when those we see derided, disregarded,
are left, without our protest, just to die.
5 Are we to be just noisy, clanging cymbals,
or signs of hope upon this cold, dark earth?
Ours is the calling now to re-imagine
the love of God, to sign each person's worth.
Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) Words © 2016 © 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: 11 10 11 10
I am posting this midway through Christian Aid Week. We tend to focus on needs which are abroad. Often there are people on our doorstep, in villages, towns and cities where we live who have needs which are profound. Perhaps this is where we will meet Christ. This song was written form the perspective of such a person. Hal Hopson set it with a tune for America. Some years later a (now retired) Methodist Presbyter set it and recorded it and it was published in his book, Reach.
1 On the sidewalk, by the shop-front
[On the pavement, by the shop-front - alt line]
I laid down my mat to sleep;
tears of sadness welled within me,
thoughts of all that might have been.
2 Lost within this hidden city
where the subway hums and groans,
left unnoticed and defenceless,
God forsaken and alone.
3 Can you sense my thrumming heart-beat,
can you feel a reason why
in your wealth you're just as lonely,
waiting for your time to die?
4 Maybe I should look more clearly
through the eyes of given hope,
maybe you could stoop more lowly
that together we may cope.
Andrew E Pratt; Words © 2002 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: 8 7 8 7 Trochaic
Tunes: RECONCILIATION (Hopson) published in Whatever Name or Creed, 2002.
SIDEWALK (Sharrocks) © 2010 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England email@example.com
published in Reach with accompanying CD.
A recording from the CD can be found here.
1 At the census in the city,
at the crossing place of life,
where the homeless and abandoned
share the scars of human strife;
mid the rubble and the ruins
shedding God's prophetic light
see, a star is softly shining
through the horror of the night.
2 In the cross of shifting shadows
see a mother and her child,
see the wetness of his features,
freshly born, so not yet filed.
In a world of cold statistics
yet another mouth to feed,
for the parents' love holds tension
with a calling, crying need.
3 So from Bethlehem in history
to this present place and time,
God has entered human anguish,
sung in tune to human rhyme;
yes, the baby that we welcome,
yes, the Christ of Palestine,
are as one, we seal remembrance
in a feast of bread and wine.
[signature of love's design.]*
4 For the ruin of the manger,
this prefig'ring of the cross,
offers Christ as our relation
in our chaos and our loss,
puts the Christ into the present,
places God in human hands,
tests our loving and our living
here in this and every land.
*for use when there is no communion
Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2003 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: 8 7 8 7 D
Tunes: BETHANY (Smart); ABBOTS LEIGH