Advent 2 – John the Baptist – a Hymn based on Matthew 3 vs 1-12

3:5 Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan,
3:6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

1	Searching, seeking, people clamoured,
	heard the noise and saw the crowd. 
	Saw the baptist by the river, 
	calling clear and calling loud. 
	First attracted, then confounded, 
	John would challenge all they knew. 
	Those who listened sensed a crisis, 
	change would question what they do.
	
2	This would be a time of turning, 
	spinning churning, whirling round. 
	John would point to new beginnings, 
	to the God that he had found.
	No deceit would go unchallenged, 
	hypocrites were undermined, 
	each foundation here was shaken, 
	here the love of God defined.
	
3	Fruitful trees would flourish, nurtured, 
	barren branches be cut down. 
	Now our generation hears him, 
	now this God has come to town. 
	How will we respond through living, 
	change our ways, transform our lives? 
	One by one, as minds are turning,
	signs are here that love survives?

Andrew Pratt 
Words © 2010 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
Tune: BETHANY (Smart)

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

Wrestling with God – Genesis 32: 22-31 – a hymn

Genesis 32: 22-31 Tells the story of an enigmatic stranger wresting with Jacob by a brook called The Jabbok. It is a story of crisis and decision, of Jacob a meeting with God, finding his vocation. Charles Wesley told the story in the hymn ‘Come, O thou traveller unknown’. It runs to 12 verses! You may not have sung it in its entirety.

This hymn is somewhat shorter…

1          Wrestling stranger met with Jacob,
            struggled onward till the morn,
            struggled by the brook of Jabbok,
            heralding a different dawn.
           
2          Jacob met the task with courage,
            and it seemed he would prevail,
            but the stronger, wrestling stranger,
            made him limp, God could not fail.
           
3          What the struggle? Why the wrestling?
            Was it real or human doubt?
            Jacob gained self realization,
            how he’d work his purpose out.
           
4          Nameless God now blessing Jacob,
            Israel went on from that place,
            Holy ground, for this was special,
            here he’d met God face to face.

Andrew 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 7 8 7. Tune: ALL FOR JESUS

For deeper love we share the bread – Jim Burklo

As Jim says, I share..

Words by Jim Burklo
(Use freely, with attribution)
Tune: O Waly Waly (Welsh folk tune) — also known as The Water Is Wide  (listen to James Taylor’s performance of it)
Alternative tune:“Jerusalem” – an unofficial anthem of England 

For deeper love we share the bread
I won’t be full till all are fed
Till every soul has home and bed
The rest of us can’t move ahead

For deeper love we share the wine
I cannot taste the love divine
Till every soul has walked the line
And you’ve had yours as I’ve had mine

Now Mary sings her birthing song
Till every voice can sing along
And voices weak will rise up strong
Her choir is one where all belong

No one’s saved till all are healed
As Jesus on the Mount revealed
Your life and mine forever sealed
Just like the lilies of the field

We follow where the Christ has led
To table that for all is spread
And no one’s sitting at the head
But deeper love in wine and bread….

JIM BURKLO

Senior Associate Dean, Office of Religious Life,
University of Southern California

A hymn on the death of Queen Elizabeth II 8th September 2022

A hymn on the death of Queen Elizabeth 11 

Once a woman heard a message,
telling of her father’s death,
spinning life round on a pinhead -
causing her to catch her breath.
From that day a life of service
putting others first of all,
meant a change of her direction,
yet she saw this as God’s call.

Celebrate her tour of duty,
duty built on faith and love,
ceaseless run since her Accession,
life committed, hand in glove.
Even though some question kingship,
all would witness cov’nant grace,
promise made, tasks undertaken,
never knowing what she’d face.

So we stand commemorating
One we seek to recognise -
grown in wisdom, dedication,
rest and peace her final prize.
Now, whatever our perspective,
may we be forever bound
in communion with our neighbours,
finding grace on heaven’s ground.

Andrew Pratt (4/2/2022 & 8/9/2022)
Words © 2022 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: MARATHON (Vaughan Williams); RUSTINGTON; BETHANY (Smart)