1 Deep contradictions, not cosy solutions, come when our faith and experience collide. Pain and its purpose, the holocaust's image, loving and hurting, are found side by side. 2 Here in the tension of unresolved conflict, logic and passion will vie for each heart; here in life's crucible, melting and moulding, God has a purpose and we play a part. 3 Here, where the spirit is forging, transforming lives that are open to challenge and change; God in each paradox fathoms potential, source of the pattern we measure and range. Andrew Pratt (born 1948) Words © 2008 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:11 10 11 10 Tune: EPIPHANY HYMN
Mark 8: 31-38 Challenge ‘You don’t need to do that! Why do you put yourself through it? It’s totally unnecessary!’ Wise advice? Maybe – in some circumstances. Self-inflicted suffering doesn’t seem to make sense in the everyday world. But there are times when we have to face the facts – ‘no gain without pain’, is the old saying. Yet Jesus, making his future clear to his followers, discovered that even the best of them had no idea of what he had to face. And, for all the best possible reasons, Peter wanted to spare his friend the horror of the predictions that were being set before him. ‘Don’t tempt me, you devil!’ What a response to give. One that rocked Peter on his heels and made him feel hurt and guilty. Only time would heal that wound, but only as the wounds that Jesus suffered were made evident to them all. The challenge to suffering for the faith goes on. And when asked, ‘Why do you put yourself through it?’ is our answer tinged with the temptation to turn and creep away in another direction? ©Marjorie Dobson, This may be used personally or for local worship, but not published elsewhere without permission. All the pain and hurt and horror All the pain and hurt and horror, loss, denial and mistrust, hovered round as Jesus waited for his friends to re-adjust. Lost within misunderstanding: thought that love was just a dream, knew that it would be so easy, they’re confounded by Love’s scheme. Jesus taught that love would conquer only through integrity, that the way his life was pointing tested his humanity. Jesus felt that Peter’s challenge undermined his purpose here, spoke quite harshly, underlining, made his need both plain and clear. Death was now the final payment, Jesus spelt out to his friends. To them this was not expedient, not the way Messiah ends. Love would be denied if actions led to violence or defence, Jesus, lamb led to the slaughter, death the cost of love’s expense. Andrew E Pratt Words © 2012 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: 184.108.40.206D Tune: LUX EOI Determination Nothing could deter him. Not religious opposition. Not the wily Herod. Not the prophetic predictions. Not the Pharisees with their plotting, nor the teachers with their testing, nor the disciples and their doubting. Nothing could stop him. For as Jesus wept over Jerusalem, saw their persecution of prophets and their future of desolation, he saw his own destiny of death at the hands of those who set out to destroy him. Yet he moved on. And those who walked with him could only fear for his life and try in vain to shield him from his enemies, but knowing deep within their hearts he was determined to go on. ©Marjorie Dobson, This may be used personally or for local worship, but not published elsewhere without permission. Infectious faith Infectious faith we demonstrate by action, when words are lived and people feel God's grace, when platitudes are kept in quiet abeyance, and love expressed through every human face. This is the witness we are called to offer: the smile of welcome and the touch of care, when every neighbour frames the Christ we honour, the angel that we're greeting unaware. My friend, we cannot claim to grace the Godhead when those who stand in tatters at our door are turned away without a moment's notice, while others sleep upon a stone cold floor. Our faith and love are nothing, simply empty, just words we fling against a cloud filled sky, when those we see derided, disregarded, are left, without our protest, just to die. Are we to be just noisy, clanging cymbals, or signs of hope upon this cold, dark earth? Ours is the calling now to re-imagine the love of God, to sign each person's worth. Andrew E Pratt Words © 2016 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: 11 10 11 10 Tune: INTERCESSOR
Hear this hymn being sung at This fragile, passing beauty
On the 1st September 1939, 80 years ago, the Second World War began. Germany invaded Poland; with the United Kingdom and France declaring war on Germany two days later…
This fragile, passing beauty,
this autumn, red and gold,
a season’s recollection:
love never will grow cold.
The seasons change and fracture,
the leaves of green turn brown,
as life seems tinged with sadness,
as petals flutter down.
This time of our remembrance
that reaches back to pain,
the chill of recollection
can open wounds again;
But this we must remember
that human war and hate
are matters of our choosing
and not some random fate.
God let this time of grieving,
of mem’ry and regret,
in case we just forget.
Fill human hearts with courage,
frame human words with grace,
that love might flow among us,
make Earth a sacred place.
Andrew Pratt 16/9/2019
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.
Tunes: BRED DINA VIDA VINGAR (Reclaiming Praise, No.142 – https://stainer.co.uk/shop/b891/), another setting of this tune can be heard at https://youtu.be/V6dDt3OJf6Q ;
Another tune: AURELIA.