Promise of hopefulness, pardon and peace – hymn for our world at a time of war

1	Promise of hopefulness, pardon and peace;
	Source of deliverance, blessed release;
	Ground of our being, of darkness and light,
	Love's possibility, enmity's night;

2	Cleave to the centre of selfish desire
	Bring to creation by earth, wind or fire
	All that is hoped for and all that's unseen:
	Goodness and glory are more than a dream.

3	In our absurdity, clamour and war
	Unseat our certainty, counter and floor
	All sense of prejudice, hatred and then
	Offer us strangers that we can befriend.

4	Give us the courage to enter this cleft,
	Healing the hurt of the lost, the bereft,
	Offering hope, though our love's crucified,
	Soaking up malice where peace is denied;

5	Love is the answer to vengeance and wrath,
	Going on loving in spite of the loss,
	Facing the depth of depravity's gain,
	Burning our hatred on love's sweeter flame.

6	Pour out your spirit, God, fill up our lives,
	Offering loveliness, love that survives,
	Then take and lift us and raise up our song:
	Love is yet greater than all human wrong.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 1999 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: 10 10 10 10 Dactylic
Tune: KOSOVO (Andrew Pratt) No.57 in Whatever Name or Creed  also available in USA from Hope Publishing.
Adrian Perry notated this tune and played it when it was first used in the Leigh & Hindley Circuit of the Methodist Church at the time of its composition.



	

Ash Wednesday & Lent Hymn

A calendar will call us to share with Christ in Lent,
to walk within the darkness: some drawn, yet others sent;
and here we sense contrition, an ashen cross we bear,
reminder that the fire of love of God is everywhere.

In many different places God’s people bear the strain
of human expectation as cruel norms constrain;
for each convention sealing another person’s fate
forgive, release, give freedom before it is too late.

We witness acts of hatred dressed up as self-defence,
where vengeance is the motive hid deep in self-pretence;
great God forgive those moments, when hate and human pride
leads to the domination of those we might deride.

As Christ you suffered torment, the torture and the hate,
yet on the cross forgave them, the ones who sealed your fate,
so as we kneel confessing complicity, we pray,
great God forgive humanity when selfishness holds sway.

Andrew Pratt 15/2/2020
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.

Tune: CRUGER (Thy hand, O God has guided)