Magnificat for today – Upturned world, the bankers humbled

Upturned world, the bankers humbled,
politicians brought to book,
children show new ways of living,
heads will spin and turn to look.
Mary sang, exultant woman,
birth would change her life and ours,
generations watch with wonder,
shaken like wealth’s shining towers.

Love incarnate’s gentle thunder
wakes the earth to truth and light,
hypocrites meet naked justice,
find no place in fear for flight.
Mary sings, when will we hear her:
revolution born of love,
heralding new dispensation,
cage the hawk and free the dove?

When the prison gates are broken,
when the poor can feast and dine,
then Magnificat is bringing
age of justice and new wine.
Wine of joy and celebration,
end of hunger, God is near,
time of endless new beginnings,
birth of Jesus, end of fear.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948) from More than hymns
Words © 2015 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: 8 7 8 7 D
Tune: BETHANY (Smart)

John the Baptist – Crazy, ragged, ranting prophet

Crazy, ragged, ranting prophet,
least that’s how some people saw him,
eating locusts and wild honey,
sweeping hypocrites before him.
Standing by the raging river,
raging at unrighteous forces,
calling weak and powerful to him,
sending them on different courses.

This is one the prophets spoke of,
one to clear the way for Jesus;
humble, man of God proclaiming
judgment, grace and mercy for us.
Would we wander to that river?
Hear that vagabond still preaching?
Or would we not want that judgment,
plug our ears to his beseeching?

And today and yet tomorrow
will we take that path and follow,
one who lived through joy and sadness
who would suffer pain and sorrow?
Would we shirk the call of Jesus,
tied to selfishness or borrow,
his audacious loving kindness,
setting free to build tomorrow?

Andrew Pratt 21/11/2012 & 8/12/2018

Tune: CLONMACNOISE

Words © 2018 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.

This is the time of waiting – New Advent Hymn at a time of political change and uncertainty

This is the time of waiting,
the calm before the storm,
the time of Advent judgement,
the coming of the dawn;
a time of recollection,
of Christ’s audacious hope,
beyond imagination,
outside our human scope.

The nations will be gathered,
the age will be fulfilled,
the judgement be enacted,
as Christ had hoped and willed.
But for this consummation
such birth-pangs will be felt,
like rupturing of wine-skins,
the earth will heave and melt.

For love to be exalted,
for hatred to be banned,
our human goals must shatter,
division must be spanned.
A change of mind is needed
as we are turned around,
to move from desecration,
to find love’s solid ground.

Andrew Pratt 27/11/2018
Tune: AURELIA
Published in the Methodist Recorder 6th December 2018
Words © 2018 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.

Fear and foreboding – Hymn – First Sunday in Advent, Luke 21: 25-36

Fear and foreboding clouding perception,
feel the earth shaking, dust fills the air,
nations in torment, war seems unceasing,
justice is absent, nothing seems fair.

How do we read this? Signs of the end times?
Judgment of God-head striking the earth?
Human indifference? Natural disaster?
Hope is extinguished, strangled at birth?

Now in our darkness Jesus is speaking,
not in the thunder, just a quiet voice,
echoing prophets, offering mercy,
whispers of judgment, cause to rejoice!

Here in the present hope is audacious,
God is tenacious counters each lie.
Here where we offer care to our neighbours
grace is abounding, love will not die.
Andrew Pratt 9/11/2012
Metre: 5 5 5 4 D Tune: BUNESSAN
Words © 2012 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.
First Sunday in Advent, Luke 21: 25-36

Deep in darkness – Advent Candle Lighting Hymn

1 Deep in darkness we begin,
dark outside and deep within.
Now ignite a single flame,
shadows form, let light remain.

2 As they gleaned the word of life,
narrative of love and strife,
people through each age have known
yet more light: God’s glory shown.

3 John the Baptist spoke out loud,
challenged that discordant crowd,
called each one toward the light,
see it growing, gleaming bright.

4 Mary wondered at her lot,
blessed?  Or cursed?  Or loved?  Or not?
Angels came and glory shone,
feel the love, let light shine on.

5 Look!  a star is shining there.
See the stable stark and bare.
Christmas dawns, all darkness gone!
Christ has come, the light shines on!
7 7 7 7  Suggested Tune: LAUDS (Wilson)
Andrew E Pratt, taken from Reclaiming Praise      

Words © 2003 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.

                                                        

Who rules the world just like a king?

Who rules the world just like a king
within our present time and space?
Who has the power of life and death,
of healing or withholding grace.

As politicians seek our votes,
exposing or obscuring truth,
sometimes their language loses rhyme,
while arguments become obtuse.

Just what is truth and where is love,
and what would Jesus do or say?
And how are we to follow faith
within our present time and day?

Who rules our wills, who charms our lives,
the powerful, or those hid from sight;
the weak, denied, or those abused
who hide away within the night?

The least is Jesus in our midst.
The least of these is Christ the King.
Then let the world turn upside down
the poor must rise and rule and sing.
© Andrew Pratt 27/10/2012
Tune: FULDA, GONFALON ROYAL
Metre: LM
CHRIST THE KING
Words © 2015 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.

Investing in a monolith – Government and poverty – Jesus – Temple

Investing in a monolith
that reaches to the sky
can blind us to our neighbour’s loss,
we’re deaf to hear their cry.
The infrastructure that we crave,
carves scars across the land,
where food and beauty once was found,
but can no longer stand.

The monuments we build to power
that sap a nation’s wealth,
will crumble as they leech the poor,
yet wreck our moral health.
When will we learn a quiet way,
not strident in its speech,
of love for neighbour, knowing peace
is not beyond our reach?

When will we till this common ground
we share through human birth,
that all its riches, love and joy,
may show our common worth;
each one a child, a neighbour, friend,
a partner in this life?
Then let us share in Christ-like love,
and harbour no more strife.
Andrew Pratt 13/11/2018
Reflecting on Mark 13:1-8 – Jesus and the Temple, government and poverty
Words © 2018 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: VOX DILECTI