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In view of the shootings which took place recently in Cumbria some may find this helpful:
God would not will what we have seen,
the terror, horror, death;
for God is love, the source of life,
the essence of our breath.
God would not break the damaged reed,
the smouldering wick is fanned;
yet human power, our want and greed
can counter what God planned.
Our will is free, our way we choose,
to act for good or ill,
to offer love, to calm or heal,
to damage or to kill.
God give us courage in the face
of carnage that we see,
to work for life, to live for love,
to set your people free.
Andrew E. Pratt (born 1948)
© Andrew E. Pratt
CM Tune: Gerontius
The void that rippled with your breath
was ordered to your will;
then life evolved, as love informed
your purpose and your skill.
That love, the ground of all that was,
of all that is to be,
inspired the prophets, fired each word,
and still is wild and free.
The fire of love was never quenched,
yet all your power distilled
until a human frame contained
all that you loved and willed.
You came in humble gentleness,
to live beneath this sky,
and though your flesh was scourged and torn
your love would never die.
Beyond the cross, beyond the grave,
you lived audacious hope,
and proved that truth and grace could give
a life of greater scope.
And now the spirit fires our lives
and we are living proof
that God who formed the universe
loves now through grace and truth.
© Andrew Pratt 19/3/2010
The backwash of rumour unsettles the faithful,
that Jesus has risen, the morning has come,
when all of the world will be shaken and driven,
the spirit is waiting, will rise with the sun.
The locks are unbroken, disciples are waiting,
each ear is attuned for an uncommon sound:
the footsteps of soldiers, a hidden informant,
the spirit is waking to turn them around.
In hushed conversation they plan out a future,
not knowing for certain what fate has in store,
when flames curl around them, warm hearts and clear voices,
the spirit has found them behind that closed door.
And now we wait with them, we follow tradition,
we echo the story that we’ve heard before,
God’s spirit is near us, around and within us,
empowering, informing what God has in store.
So let us go out in the power of that spirit
to live lives like Jesus, to cheer and restore
the ones who are broken, derided, forsaken,
the spirit is moving, the future is sure.
© Andrew Pratt 17/4/2010
Tune: STREETS OF LAREDO
MORE PENTECOST HYMNS AT http://www.twelvebaskets.co.uk/
All heaven sighed as joy was shed,
and love would soon be free,
not bound to just one place and time,
yes, this would be the key:
beyond the cross, beyond the grave,
the Christ would rise again,
not just to life to greet his friends,
but on beyond earth’s pain.
Disciples waited on that hill
as Christ was lost to sight,
then time would test their faithfulness,
there was no shining light;
for as they gazed, and as they looked,
it did not seem so clear;
some doubted what they saw and felt,
and some were filled with fear.
Uncertainty would rule their lives,
within this hollow time.
The world went on insensible
to faith’s forgotten rhyme.
Then in a room behind locked doors,
the Spirit came with fire,
and each disciple found a voice
to challenge and inspire.
© Andrew Pratt 30/3/2010
Tune: KINGSFOLD or new tune by John Kleinheksel (below - also available at: http://www.twelvebaskets.co.uk/
We are the people that you called to serve,
to work together in this time and place,
a presence driven by your spirit wind,
the ones you choose to channel love and grace.
We mix with those you call to meet with us,
to live and be, to talk, to sing or dance,
to give away the gifts that you have given,
to risk our all, to take each given chance.
God stand with us, for here you plant your love,
among the ones with whom you’d have us share,
they live outside the walls that we erect
and when we dare to go, we find you there.
© Andrew Pratt 13/3/2010
Crowded table, urgent faces,
people longing for the bread,
bread of life and bread for living,
bread for rising from the dead;
Young and old, both men and women,
those for whom this life is hard,
those who live in warmth and comfort,
those whose lives are stained or scarred;
All are welcome, wise or foolish,
at this table all are fed,
sharing wine in celebration,
eating Christ’s communion bread.
Then in costly life and giving
we will share what we receive,
demonstrate in daily living
all that we affirm, believe.
© Andrew Pratt 2005/2010 (firstname.lastname@example.org )
Tune: ALL FOR JESUS
There is a place where rubbish burns
beyond the urban sprawl,
beyond this life, but not God's love,
outside the city wall;
Amid the rubble and the dirt,
against a darkening sky,
three crosses hung with human flesh,
three men would wait to die.
And is there glory in a death,
or wonder in a cross,
as women wait and watch and weep
and share this human loss?
If this was God who hung and died
the soldier did not lie.
My Lord, my God, my life, my all,
now I will join his cry.
Andrew Pratt (born 1948) © Andrew Pratt
Mid laughter and derision,
with mocking, mournful cry,
see evil’s quiet corruption,
as people wander by.
All dignity is fading,
and life will ebb away,
the Christ is hung on Friday,
the powers have had their say.
The women still stand watching,
the men in fear have gone,
the sky is cut with darkness,
the sun will not shine on.
In childlike resignation
the Christ gives up his last,
indignity is finished,
his suffering is past.
A soldier still stands silent,
then falling to his knees,
in quiet acclamation,
adores the Christ he sees.
While Mary leaves unnoticed,
a broken, crippled soul,
the shadows hide her anguish,
her grief will take control.
We sing the story sadly,
we act the story well,
but now we leave forgetting
the truths it has to tell.
God give us sense to grapple
with powers that would defame
the Christ in one another,
the hope we long to name
© Andrew Pratt 10/2/2010
GOOD FRIDAY HYMN - Mid laughter and derision - this hymn pictures the scene around the death of Jesus and then challenges us.
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