When strangers are unwelcome – those needing asylum

When strangers are unwelcome 

When strangers are unwelcome 
the church’s heart beats slow, 
the lost who run from danger 
have nowhere left to go. 
No words of grace are spoken 
while, looking on the world, 
the heart of God is broken: 
love’s banner tightly furled.

The people at our borders 
who need compassion now, 
reach out for care and shelter, 
but rules will not allow 
these ones to seek asylum:
we put up legal walls.
Before we’ve even met them 
we disregard their calls.

Then images from scripture speak 
judgment on the church, 
and call for clearer thinking 
as values seize or lurch. 
The Christ that we would worship 
would turn the world around, 
and shake us from our comfort, 
our certain, solid ground.

Then shatter walls and windows 
and let the church reach out, 
and not with Psalms and anthems, 
but anger, let us shout 
condemning every outrage 
that demonises life, 
and break the laws that damage, 
evoking human strife.

Andrew Pratt 30/7/2021
Words © 2021 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: 7.6.7.6 D
Tune: AURELIA; KINGS LYNN

Inspired by a front page item in the Methodist Recorder 30/7/2021 involving an interview with Rev Inderjit Bhogal.



How a hymn was written – A Song of the Sea – Hymn of the Day – Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland

‘A Song of the Sea’ was published recently on this blog. It is the Hymn of the Day today 30th July 2021. The reflection on it tells how it was written and there is a link to it being sung – click here to follow to the reflection

Hymn at a time of ‘levelling up’ – A promise of heaven is fine if you’re dead

A promise of heaven is fine if you’re dead, 

but we’re in the present, need food and need bread,

the Christ that we ‘worship’ to whom we might pray,

would heal in the present, feed folk in his day.



And that still has meaning where poverty kills,

where selfishness injures – that’s not what God wills.

A levelling up, to which we might aspire,

says yes to the sacrifice God would require.



To follow the Christ child from manger to cross,

involves our self-giving not counting the loss,

to take from the poor while we bolster our wealth,

confirms our hypocrisy, signs our ill-health.



The world Jesus promised in action and word

made selfishness something both cruel and absurd;

to love every neighbour of each race and creed,

gave all of God’s grace to meet all the world’s need.


Andrew Pratt; 15/7/2021

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.
Metre:11.11.11.11