A hymn reflecting on John 13: 34 – 35 takes us, perhaps, toward Pentecost… I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. Searing incandescent spirit, melting rock and churning foam, turning chaos into comfort formed the planet where we roam. Now we recollect the story of the cosmic photo-call when the universe was forming earth, the cradle of us all. By this spirit prophets speaking challenged power and brought down thrones, pointed people to the Godhead, moved them from their comfort zones; turned their minds from selfish pleasure, marking wrong and putting right, led them from each ego's desert, from their introspective blight. Now the spirit doused all people, no-one could escape this shower; sons and mothers, fathers, daughters, felt this rhythmic, dancing power; soon all nations heard the clamour, every language known on earth called to every nation living, join with love and find new-birth. Andrew E Pratt; Words © 2015 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 Tune: LUX EOI
As we move towards Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and Lent, a moment to pause. By the time you read this the tension in Ukraine may have eased or increased. Let this be a moment to remember that our faith has a worldwide perspective as we share words written in Poland while listening to a lecture by Joachim Waloszek on Polish hymns. 1 The words we sing are wrung from broken hearts, are formed within the soil of time and place, are rooted in our history and this time, yet ring with changeless mystery and grace. 2 Our treasure is the very grace of God, the pearl that we would lose our lives to hold, this gift we guard with frail yet gentle hands, to share among God's people young or old. 3 We sing with others met along the way who speak our language or another tongue, who walk beside us on the road to heaven, who stumble, fly or fall till life is won. 4 The words we sing now whisper sighs of joy, transcending all we fear within this place, they ring with endless, everlasting hope, they celebrate the freedom of God's grace. Andrew Pratt (born 1948) Words © 2009 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
With tender conviction I sense love is calling,
no grace is withheld, nor forgiveness repressed,
all people are held in unfathomable comfort,
this love is eternal, forever expressed.
The judgment some fear is a human construction,
for grace is a scandal for those who would judge,
they see it as fair to condemn, exact hatred,
while mercy is something they want to begrudge.
For me none is distanced from love by an action,
a word or a deed, we might not understand,
yet God’s love is wider, beyond comprehension,
if you share this creed, my friend, give me your hand!
[For me none is distanced from love by an action,
compassionate grace, could not set us apart,
for God’s love is wider, beyond comprehension,
if you share this creed, then we are of one heart.]*
*Alternative last stanza after conversation and critique by Pesky Methodists, thankyou!
© Andrew Pratt 5am 29/11/2021 - 4/12/2021
Link to A version of John Wesley’s sermon
A hymn written earlier this year https://hymnsandbooks.blog/2021/04/24/change-us-god-into-the-likeness-hymn-for-times-of-debate-and-decision/
Churches (of whatever denomination) that believe themselves to be inclusive need to listen to those who feel excluded rather than ridicule or silence them. All are welcome so often has conditions attached.