This hymn was written some years ago, responding to a call to provide sanctuary for people on the margins by Rev’d Inderjit Bhogal, (Past President of the Methodist Conference) - https://inderjitbhogal.com/category/sanctuary/ - Sadly both the call and the hymn are still pertinent. We wait to welcome guests to our countries. ‘Cities of sanctuary’, could read, ‘Towns offer sanctuary’, ‘Places of sanctuary’ or Churches of sanctuary’, depending on your situation.
Cities of sanctuary, places of safety, here where all strangers are welcomed and blessed, we stand with Jesus in love of our neighbour, here in our actions his love is expressed.
We will act justly while offering mercy, nurturing humbly a gospel of peace, welcome all people regardless of status, counter celebrity, value the least.
Here in a world that is cruel and unyielding God's hospitality values the poor; this is the scandal of love without limits, loving the unloved, then loving them more.
We will not rest till each migrant is welcomed. We will share bread till the hungry are fed. We will confront each injustice that greets us, loving with vigour till hatred is dead.
Reflections for Ukraine based on some of my texts on Premier Christian Radio were broadcast (Freeview channel 725) on Sunday 13th March 2022 0800 hours (UK)A video prepared for SUNDAY NIGHT LIVE is available here with thanks to Pam Rhodes and Gareth Moore (to be broadcast Sunday 20th March 2022 at 1800 hours UK)
Also see hymn @ https://hymnsandbooksblog.uk/2022/03/01/we-hear-the-news-in-anguish-hymn-at-time-of-russian-invasion-of-ukraine/
We hear the news in anguish to know what has been done, the cameras and recordists show hatred being spun, the sound of rockets falling fill broadcasts round the earth, Great God, what are we doing while children come to birth?
Our aspirations shudder, our hopes become as dust, through war machines are broken, dismembered, turned to rust. Our conversations stutter, our talks of peace – hot air, Great God, may acts of justice grow from the seeds of prayer.
No place is ever neutral when hatred fuels the fire, humanity unites us, let love be our desire. Join hands across the barriers that other hands have made, until your world is mended and violence has been stayed.