These images will not be diminished by persecuting migrants, nor by making a false distinction between those seeking asylum and so called economic migrants. We need to welcome as fellow human beings people coming to our shores who are fleeing fear or poverty and to provide them with safe passage to our shores and a humanitarian reception. 1 Idyllic beaches break the waves as bathers line the shore This view of peace is now disturbed: an aftermath of war. The ones who fled from lives they knew have gone in fear and dread, the ships that offered hope to them are sunk with many dead. 2 And where is God amid the swell where tides still ebb and flow, unfeeling of this loss of life, as others come and go? The commerce of the world goes on. Can we ignore the pain? It is as though we're blind to see Christ crucified again. 3 The ones who drown are ones we own as neighbours we should love; how can we turn our eyes away, avert our gaze above? For when our politics conspires to shut the door to grace it is as though we turn away from Jesus' tortured face. Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) 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. CMD Tune: KINGSFOLD
While the nations guard their borders,
cherished cultures, ways of life,
people struggle for survival,
children die while fleeing strife.
Can we hear with calm acceptance
what the news has got to tell?
Can we claim to follow Jesus
while the world drifts into hell?
Hell is where there’s no more loving,
close at hand, not out of sight,
what we make denying others
grace of love, or hope of light.
When compassion’s drained and stranded,
voices might as well be dumb
human cries that we’ve avoided
fall on ears both blocked and numb.
Christ is calling in each murmur,
in each whisper framing need,
silence louder than God’s thunder,
loud enough to quell our greed;
yet we close our ears, our senses,
dreading every troubling fact,
lest we feel the pain of others
forcing us to rise and act.
Our borders, our walls mock the faith that we own,
denying the Christ that we claim to enthrone,
for Christ is our neigbour to love or reject,
for us to disdain, or to treat with respect.
The justice of God is as real as our flesh,
as real as each life that we drown or refresh;
as active as righteousness seen in the cross,
where love met with hatred while bearing the loss.
And now, in this moment, we need to decide,
our crisis of conscience to love or deride:
to claim that some small print lets us off the hook,
or answer, with courage, Christ’s challenging look?
Andrew Pratt 14/7/2019
Words © 2019 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.
Tune: ST DEINIO