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 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: 7 6 7 6 D Tune: AURELIA
1 The prophet saw a plumb line simply hanging to sign God's love amid the sons of men, then, with the women, everyone is singing that God will never turn away again. 2 Yet Amos blew the whistle on God's people, a prophet in a time of greed and need, self-righteousness as high as any steeple, spoke of abandonment of law and creed. 3 The powers that be would have him leave the country, yet Amos stood as firm as any rock, the words that he had spoken, quietly, humbly, had power to break the proud, to shake and shock. 4 The judgment was quite plain, for God had spoken, a time for present challenge and for choice; and as words echo through a world still broken, we hesitate to praise or to rejoice. Andrew Pratt, 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. Metre: 11 10 11 10 Tune: INTERCESSOR Used By Permission. CCL Licence No. 0000 Copied from HymnQuest: Copyright Licence Users' Edition HymnQuest ID: 14320 CCLI#: null
The earth pleads for justice, the harvest is wanting The earth pleads for justice, the harvest is wanting, in fire, flood or tempest our crops are destroyed; the Spring, once predicted, is desolate, silent, excuses are hollow, we’ve done all we can? The mountains have echoed, or is that God’s whisper, the quiet consternation of one in distress? A prompting, a question that answers our calling, is that your defence, that you’ve done all you can? While continents crumble and ice caps are melting, you sit on your hands, you do nothing at all. Wake up to the danger still growing around you, and do all you can till your passage is through. And now in the present let’s work for the future, still others will follow, they wait in the wings: this planet, its future, its people our neighbours, join hands, sing our anthem: ‘we’ll do All We Can!’ Andrew Pratt 13/9/2021 Written at the request of Margaret Parker for Cheadle Hulme Methodist Church to celebrate All We Can (Methodist Relief and Development) Words © 2021 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: 126.96.36.199 Tune: STREETS OF LAREDO/THE BARD OF ARMAGH (Ancient and Modern 551 - YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJPxNjLRhEM ); ST CATHERINE’S COURT (Hymns & Psalms 660 - Hymnary - https://hymnary.org/media/fetch/205294 )
When strangers are unwelcome When strangers are unwelcome the church’s heart beats slow, the lost who run from danger have nowhere left to go. No words of grace are spoken while, looking on the world, the heart of God is broken: love’s banner tightly furled. The people at our borders who need compassion now, reach out for care and shelter, but rules will not allow these ones to seek asylum: we put up legal walls. Before we’ve even met them we disregard their calls. Then images from scripture speak judgment on the church, and call for clearer thinking as values seize or lurch. The Christ that we would worship would turn the world around, and shake us from our comfort, our certain, solid ground. Then shatter walls and windows and let the church reach out, and not with Psalms and anthems, but anger, let us shout condemning every outrage that demonises life, and break the laws that damage, evoking human strife. Andrew Pratt 30/7/2021 Words © 2021 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: 188.8.131.52 D Tune: AURELIA; KINGS LYNN Inspired by a front page item in the Methodist Recorder 30/7/2021 involving an interview with Rev Inderjit Bhogal.