LENT – POEMS AND SONG TO SET THE SCENE – THINK AGAIN; EMPTY WORDS; SPIRITED DANCER

 Think again
  
 If the extent 
 of our sacrificial content 
 is to give up chocolate for Lent, 
 what kind of a sacrifice is that?
  
 If the inclination 
 of our celebration 
 is for a self-centred commemoration 
 for the current congregation, 
 what good is that to God,
 or anyone else?
  
 If a Holy Day 
 becomes a holiday 
 with the holiness left out, 
 where has the significance gone?
  
 God sighs for the real sacrifice 
 of working to eliminate poverty and injustice.
  
 God craves for the genuine celebrations 
 of people set free and of changed lives.
  
 God holds out hope 
 for those who make holiness their aim, 
 however far they still have to travel.
  
 God asks us to think again.
 © Marjorie Dobson 

  
 Empty words 

 Empty words
 from those who live in luxury 
 and despise the poor.
 Empty words 
 from those who enquire after the sick, 
 but never visit them.
 Empty words 
 from those who offer hollow sympathy, 
 but never weep with those in sorrow.
 Empty words 
 from those who are severely critical 
 of local and national governments, 
 but refuse to vote, 
 or to become involved in politics.
 Empty words 
 from those who proclaim themselves 
 to be Christians, 
 but only take care of themselves 
 and their own kind.
 Empty words 
 from those who preach 
 of suffering and sacrifice, 
 but have never challenged themselves 
 to experience either.
 Empty words from those … …
 Empty words … …
 Empty … …
  
 And God, 
 who knows our hearts, 
 looks on 
 and asks us to look again 
 at the sacrificial love of Jesus 
 and to fill our empty words 
 with love and action.
 Marjorie Dobson 
 Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, copyright@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. 
 Spirited dancer

 Spirited dancer, a pantomime figure,
 comic, distorted, misused and abused;
 never expedient, yet working with rigour,
 seemingly foolish yet never confused.
 
 Crying the wilderness down on your shoulders,
 offering pedants the cool time of day;
 I would dance with you, by paths or rough boulders,
 willing to enter the fun or the fray.
 
 Now in my cowardice, fear, apprehension,
 sharing the life that you've given to me;
 help me to put away pride and pretension,
 learn in your footsteps the way to be free.
 
Andrew E. Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2003, 2006 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@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: 11 10 11 10
Tune: WAS LEBET, WAS SCHWEBET; QUEDLINBURG 

Published by

Andrew Pratt

Andrew Pratt was born in Paignton, Devon, England in 1948.

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