Early Autumn- Friend of the world…

Friend of the world, bright shining sun!
Reeling and dancing, life begun;
living and learning, climbing high,
soaring on wings as if to fly.

Friend of the ones we would despise,
fierce is the love within his eyes;
fierce in defence of poor or weak,
he offers love when we just speak.

Autumn is coming to the trees,
colour is drained from falling leaves;
darkness is covering all the earth,
His dance goes on, it finds new birth.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
© 1999 Stainer & Bell Ltd
LM Tune: MARYTON

Remember

I was recently reminded of this poem from the book Poppies and Snowdrops when I was told of its use at a funeral…

You love him. That's why you feel like this. That will never change.
 
Without you he wouldn't have discovered life, enjoyed learning, driven you crazy as he strained in adolescence to gain his independence while needing you more than he would admit, or you could know.
And he still needs you, in spite of his death.
In death as in life, he is your child, to be remembered with all the love you ever had for him,
with all the frustration he brought you,
as well as the joy and privilege of parenthood.
Love him still.
Always love him.
Talk about his birth, his life, his ups and down
Talk of success and failure.
Talk of love and frustration.
Talk about him.
And never, never let him go.
He is your son.
He was and is and always will be.
The joyful pain of knowing that will live with you forever.
Every day you will picture him,
hear his voice
and ask the unanswerable 'what ifs'
until that point when it registers that,
in spite of all that has happened
nothing, but nothing,
can separate you, or him, from God's love.
Even now you are still a uniquely valued child of God.
God hurts with you,
cries with you,
holds you,
enfolds you with love.
And you are safe.
Nothing can harm you anymore.
Your memories are safe and the love in which you are held is eternal.
So rest, my child, in that love of God that will never,
but never, let you go.
© Andrew Pratt

Am I creation’s keeper Poem/hymnWritten 13/9/2020 while watching David Attenborough’s broadcast – ‘Extinction: The Facts’



Am I creation’s keeper,
a steward of this earth,
a singular vocation,
to measure all its worth?
As humans we must nurture,
the land, the sea, the air,
for all we see around us
is handed to our care.

Yet lost in self-obsession,
not feeding human need,
our greatest occupation,
is meeting human greed;
we cull and kill creation,
exterminate at will,
we hanker and we hunger
for more than just our fill.

The seas become polluted,
the forests burnt or felled,
the air a noxious fluid,
its temperature not held.
The world, unfit for purpose,
destroyed by human choice?
We need to hear the prophets,
to raise up every voice.

No faith or creed or preference,
exceeds our need for life,
this planet, all its value,
will it survive our strife?
When human life has ended,
this home left scarred and torn,
will God not weep with anger,
that we were ever born?

Written 13/9/2020 while watching David Attenborough’s broadcast:
Extinction: The Facts
Andrew Pratt, 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.
Suggested Tune: SALLY GARDENS

God marks no ending, only new beginnings – Hymn/Poem – Methodist New Year – and other times of change or new-ness or loss

God marks no ending, only new beginnings,
until the consummation of our lives;
God keeps no count of losses, nor of winnings:
we move through grace, the holy spirit thrives.

So as we go beyond this time, this setting,
rememb’ring all the laughter and the tears;
we go with God in faith, so not regretting
the moments shared, the hopes, the dreams, the fears.

Though parted for a while, we travel onward,
not knowing what the future has in store.
This phase will close, the spirit draws us forward,
we’ve tasted love, but God has promised more!

Words © 2006 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.

11 10 11 10 Suggested Tune: LORD OF THE YEARS

Spare the algorithm, save the child?

One time they would not spare the rod,
for fear to spoil the child.
But now the ones who claim to ‘know’
will spoil the child by different means,
an algorithm sets the scene
and plots where they will go.

The damage is more distant now,
detached yet pain will grow.
To this the world has been inured.
And with the placing of a life,
the ledger reconciled.
© Andrew Pratt 16/8/2020

I watched the beginning of a film of Jane Eyre. Jane was beaten. Today, still with less of a eye on the welfare of children we rarely use the rod. It has been replaced with algorithms…financial balance sheets and privilege seem to occupy the bottom line…