Jesus sent out his disciples in pairs to places where he would go. Where they were greeted with hospitality, there they were to rest. Hospitality of welcome was the key hope. I wonder who would welcome us today – if we arrived with ‘no purse, no bag, no sandals’ – destitute? And who, like this, would we welcome? 1 We cannot make an easy, safe distinction, all people are our neighbours, none denied; the voices of all nations heard beside us: all sisters, brothers, none we should deride. 2 The wall between the peoples has been broken, in love of God divisions disappear; as seen in Christ we recognise our neighbours We greet unusual faces without fear. 3 We celebrate each difference God has given; each nation, black and white, both straight and gay; the able and the challenged God has offered that we might share together, learn and pray. 4 We meet with those who paint a different picture, who value God in words not yet our own, in dialogue we offer one another a vision we could never find alone. 5 This God we seek is greater than each difference, the source and ground of all variety, the centre and the soul of all creation erasing hate with love to set us free. Andrew Pratt, Words © 2008 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
God would not will what we have seen,
the terror, violence, death;
for God is love, the source of life,
the essence of our breath.
God would not break the damaged reed,
the smouldering wick is fanned;
yet human power, our want and greed
can counter what God planned.
Our will is free, our way we choose,
to act for good or ill,
to offer love, to calm or heal,
to damage or to kill.
God give us courage in the face
of carnage that we see,
to work for life, to live for love,
to set your people free.
Andrew E. Pratt (born 1948) (alt Andrew Pratt 13/8/2021
Words © 2006 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.
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 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: 8 7 8 7 D Tune: LUX EOI
Am I in debt?
In debt for the love you have given me.
Undeserving, sometimes callous, thoughtless and cavalier with the expectations
of others. Yet I am loved.
And so I owe this debt of love.
How can it be paid?
How do I repay the patience of a nurse who stands by me while I am sick?
How do I return the love of a mother who invested her life in my life from birth
to her death?
How do I thank those people who affirm me in what I do, in writing and in
How do I thank the teacher who told me, but then demonstrated that from his
point of view there was some good in everyone?
How do I thank my son for music, art and an openness of spirit?
How do I thank colleagues who have stood by and encouraged me as my life has
changed pace and direction often giving them more work to do?
How do I thank my wife for her care?
How do I thank the child who smiles and hugs me and says, ‘That’s better’?
How do I thank countless friends who have done the things that only they could
How do I thank the father who taught me to work with wood?
So much to be thankful for!
Am I in debt?
To each and all is owed a lifetime of love, so graciously given, so easily received.
No wonder he said, ‘Love one another”!
I’ll try, really I will.
What is this love? Just this we know that love transcends all pomp and show, that love exists, above below, love was and is and is to be, by grace we are both loved and free.
What is this love? It precedes life, it overcomes all dark and strife, love is the Spirit’s keenest knife, pure love has brightness in its eyes, yet breathes forever, never dies.
Love is the interface of change, no difference rests beyond its range, its nature gracious, other, strange, it holds birth, death and all between, here all is safe: both hidden, seen.
Love is the point where hell is breached, where joy is glimpsed and heaven reached, the outcasts find they’re unimpeached, on this wide earth the lost are found for love is safe, is solid ground.
Andrew Pratt 17/4/2022