Holocaust Memorial hymn – In these days as we remember

In these days as we remember
torture, holocaust and fear,
hear our prayer, our supplication,
wrung from hearts, soaked by each tear.
Tears have flooded through our nations,
pain has racked and broken lives,
now we vow to show through action
our compassion still survives.

If the voice of God is silent,
if disciples cease to speak,
then the voiceless and rejected
know the way ahead is bleak.
Let our faith be known in action,
in our depth of love and care,
in our choice identifying
with our neighbours in despair.

When the strength of our resistance
to the evil that we see
shows itself in selfless giving
of our lives then we are free,
free of cant and self-deception,
of hypocrisy and pride,
for we greet as sisters, brothers,
those that others would deride.

Andrew Pratt 22/1/2020
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.

Tune: CALON LAN; ST WINIFRED

 

Christ’s body has been broken – and sometimes by political choice…

Christ’s body has been broken,
not bread but human lives,
each family has scattered,
just memory survives;
the parents cry in anguish,
the children cry in fear,
we label them as migrant,
not wanted over here.

These are our human neighbours,
relations from our birth,
each sister, child or brother,
as one on this wide earth.
If we claim God as parent,
‘our Father’ as we say,
when will we own the the meaning
of empty words we pray?

God, help us welcome others,
God break the barriers down,
that tears may turn to laughter,
and smiles displace each frown;
then may we live together,
forgiven by your grace,
the Pentecostal promise,
one Godly human race!

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
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.
Metre: 7 6 7 6 D

No insurance – for Australia

These crazy flames lick and lap at all that ranges round us,
the trappings of our wealth,
experience and existence.
At birth we can’t anticipate our existential ending,
the length of life not ours to count or measure.
But then we face eternity,
or nothingness,
depending on belief.
Like night’s thief, flames hotter than hell’s painting are not some distant image,
but sharpened fronds dissembling each dwelling.
And if we leave reality says,
‘there is no return’.
Can faith uphold us through this conflagration?
Survival walks naked of all that we have known,
valued or possessed.
That is the option open to us.
Our Hobson has no choice.
So if we die we will know what rests beyond this life.
Remaining so much is loss or lost.
Whichever path we walk pray this,
pray only this,
that now and on beyond this moment
the love a letter writer once described
will hold,
enfold
and keep us still through all that is to come.
And no insurance…just the faith…

Words © Andrew Pratt 4/1/2019

Mouldy old log at the turning of the year…

Log 2

Mouldy old log at the turning of the year,
once green,
now dead,
lacking sap.

Sad year passing,
gone,
dead.

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Watch the turning,
burning of the season,
till white ash snow,
melting brings life,
again.

DSCF0193

Not immortality
for that mouldy old log at the turning of the year
is dead,
but new life springs fresh
forcing through cracked,
raw, hardened earth,
starting again,

IMG_0834

and that is what we, also,
should do…on and on…season after season…starting anew.

© Andrew Pratt 31/12/2019

Three men by a manger – Epiphany

Three men by a manger, the camels are spitting;
the inn keeper proffers a flagon of ale.
The strangers are weary, the passage was dreary,
this ship of the desert, has furled up its sail.

The stars had moved slowly, they’d hoped to be early,
our Christmas had placed them right there at the birth,
but Herod had waited, his anger not sated,
two years rambled slowly till wrath seared the earth.

It all seems a muddle, and yet we will huddle,
repeating the story from long, long ago;
what matters the timing when love sets bells chiming,
and just for this season our time can run slow.
Andrew Pratt 22/12/2019
Words © 2019 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.