The gospel reading of the Fourth Sunday in Advent tells of the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth and Mary’s prophetic song which we know as the Magnificat (Luke 1: 39-55). This Sunday’s hymn reaches further than this. It has for its background an occupied country, a census involving a journey and the song of a young woman which anticipates the birth of a child who will bring radical challenge and change to the world – if only we would hear and follow him… A tension stalked the stage, an occupying force, and in this context Mary sang. The world could alter course. Once humbled by her God, demeaned, yet she felt blessed, her life now mingled joy and pain, from now she'd never rest. And those in every age are challenged by her song, the paupers free to pray again - for those who did them wrong; while princes are appalled, for those who once held power will find their status racked right down, and that within this hour. For where injustice meets with worship lived and prayed, the social order swings around, the powerful are dismayed; and that includes us all, our power is sapped away, while genuine humility at last will have its day. Andrew E Pratt Words © 2015 © 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: DSM Tune: LEOMINSTER
Who rules the world just like a king?
Who rules the world just like a king
within our present time and space?
Who has the power of life and death,
of healing or withholding grace.
As politicians seek our votes,
exposing or obscuring truth,
sometimes their language loses rhyme,
while arguments become obtuse.
Just what is truth and where is love,
and what would Jesus do or say?
And how are we to follow faith
within our present time and day?
Who rules our wills, who charms our lives,
the powerful, or those hid from sight;
the weak, denied, or those abused
who hide away within the night?
The least is Jesus in our midst.
The least of these is Christ the King.
Then let the world turn upside down
the poor must rise and rule and sing.
© Andrew Pratt 27/10/2012
Tune: FULDA, GONFALON ROYAL
CHRIST THE KING
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.