If God is love, then God in love unites us If God is love, then God in love unites us, the essence of our being, sense and life, how can we be divided, for our nature is rooted in this Spirit, transcends strife. The ethic by which all our life is driven is grounded in relationship and prayer, for where love joins us, weaving bonds of friendship, be sure to find that God, through grace, is dwelling there. If this is so, then what can separate us: our human ego, hubris or our pride? For when we argue, struggle with each other, like children we are fighting for our side. Without God holding us we’re hollow cymbals, we need to let Love guide our ebb and flow, till entering the stream of love together, the harmony of hope through trust will surely show. Andrew Pratt 15/1/2023 written for Northwich & District Churches Together, with thanks to Robert Bridge for inspiration. Words © 2023 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: LONDONDERRY AIR
Hymn at a time when people feel excluded – God, save us from the platitudes
God values all – Joel 2: 28 – 29 – hymn at a time when people feel excluded. The prophet Joel said: 28 Then afterwards I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29 Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
1 God, save us from the platitudes, the empty prayers and hollow praise that blind us to hypocrisy of every thoughtless word or phrase. O take us, mend us, make us one until your work on earth is done. 2 When pride and selfishness demand our rights when others suffer hurt, when greed and use of wealth exploit and push our neighbours in the dirt yes, take us, mend us, make us one until your work on earth is done. 3 Within a world of fear-built walls of colour, social class or creed, God, help us look with Christ-lit eyes for Christ within another's need; O, take us, mend us, make us one until your work on earth is done. 4 O God of fundamental grace in which your church has grown and stands, great God of self-denying love may hatred die in every land. Yes, take us, mend us, make us one until your peace on earth is won. 5 Then graceful hospitality may welcome angels unaware, until your all inclusive love spans though all time, is everywhere, for by your grace we now are one, your hope is gained, your work is done. Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) Words © 2011 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 8 8 8 8 8 Tune: ABINGDON
The care of all we seek or see – another response to the Coronavirus crisis: Psalm 121 – new link to a setting by John Kleinheksel added
The care of all we seek or see
was put into our hands,
but through our human arrogance
we thought we ruled all lands.
There was no thing beyond our grasp,
nor task beyond our means,
but limits hold us, keep us back,
deep-rooted in our genes.
Within a world of tooth and claw,
competing for a place,
we thought that we could dominate:
a mighty, human race.
But shocked, we should have recognized
our place within a plan,
we should have used our intellect
to prove our finite span.
We thought we were invincible
but now we understand,
a virus that we cannot see
could mark our final stand.
‘Pride comes before a fall’, they say,
and we were very proud,
but now we rue the day we spoke,
to state our case out loud.
At last it seems we need to pause,
to understand our plight,
to own our vulnerability,
to walk into the light:
Great God, however we believe,
we plead, we cry, we call,
come hold us, keep us, lift us up,
God catch us as we fall.
Andrew Pratt 20/3/2020
Tune: BETHLEHEM; CLAUDIUS (Fink)
Tune setting: The.Care.of.All.We.Seek.Virus
Words © 2020 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.
‘Is this the day’ – poem – reflection on Coronavirus inspired by thoughts of Simon Sutcliffe – link below
Is this the day that dawns today, when all the world stands still,
when human lives are challenged in their arrogant, self-will?
Is this a time to sound again the grace which from our youth
Has brought us to this point in time to face eternal truth?
We wonder at the rhythms of creation we observe,
the genesis of all we see, the laws we sense and serve,
yet when we read in scripture of the wonders of this course,
we tend to shut our eyes to one last day of rest at source.
Now is the moment action takes the place of hollow sighs,
the sighs that speak of emptiness, of loneliness and lies;
great God, within this Sabbath rest we question and explore,
is this a time when you recede, a tide drawn from the shore?
Now is a time of deep compassion, caring and concern,
when every person needs the love that money cannot earn.
This is a time when values shift and search for solid ground,
to put aside our selfishness to go where grace is found.
© Andrew Pratt 17/3/2020
I have already found the political emphasis on economics in the face of the Coronavirus to be rather tiresome. Surely care of one another ought to be foremost and enabling the security of every person ought to take priority over all else.
At the turning of the year…
The danger of a storm of cliches hovers in the wings…
metaphors mix it with each other…
tides turn, seas ebb…
moons set, suns rise…
worlds spin on their axes…
Strange that marking a year’s end
and a new beginning
feels like a monument rising,
a tower falling,
a significant event
when naming of days is arbitrary.
The rev-counting globe,
are built in,
each day the same,
So why this apprehension?
Why my uncertainty?
that death is nearer than it was?
importing significance to tasks left incomplete?
The intractable magnetism of mystery,
drawing and repelling?
The cliches are gathering…
Andrew Pratt 27/12/2018