Climate change song – Crises drive us from our comfort

Crises drive us from our comfort
to the edge of vital choice,
children speak the words we’ve hidden,
simple words we’ve failed to voice.
Will we listen to the judgment
warning us to change our ways,
change essential in this moment
making way for future days?

Cut the greed, this present moment
is a sacrament in time:
calls for change in our perspective,
hearing reason, mending rhyme.
Here we have just finite tenure,
stewards of this planet, earth,
handing each new generation
sacred space to come to birth.

Space and time are lent and trusted
into each receptive hand,
ours to tend, maintain and offer
clean, refreshed: each cherished land.
Yet our science says we’re wanting,
faulted in our craft and care.
May the future be forgiving
of the love we failed to share.

Andrew Pratt 8/12/2019
Inspired by Greta Thunberg

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.

Tune: THE CARNIVAL IS OVER

In the Bible sinful action sees God’s punishment unfurled – https://bramhallmethodists.org.uk/scienceandprayer/

In the Bible sinful action
sees God’s punishment unfurled.
Seismic faults can find their reason
in God’s shaking of the world.
Dualism, human freedom,
‘best of all’ this fractured earth?
Does God punish us for actions
which negate our human worth?

But today does retribution,
witnessed through earth’s fractured crust,
make much sense of God in action
when our cities turn to dust?
Do our people crushed and broken
act as warning, point to God?
Or is good news, clouded, hidden,
buried deep beneath the sod?

Much like Job, we seek an answer,
craft theology with care,
looking for a simple reason,
find new scapegoats standing there.
If we were more deeply honest
we might find it’s Christ who dies,
God who suffers in the present
when we hide behind our lies.

When we value wealth or nation,
see resources to be owned,
see the poor as simple objects,
their humanity dethroned;
then what may be seen as natural
rests on our incompetence,
or on human greed and evil
and on loving’s reticence.

Tune: LUX EOI (StF 400/764)
or ABBOTSLEIGH (UMC 584)
Metre: 8.7.8.7 D

Written in response to Rev’d Professor David Chester’s Seminar on Earthquakes, Volcanoes and God: Theological Perspectives on Natural Disaster
Andrew Pratt, 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.

The depth of interstellar space – a Cosmic Christmas Carol

The depth of interstellar space,
the ultimate beyond,
the cosmic span of all that is
with Christ the common bond:
Word before world’s had come to be,
our common source and ground,
we stare into this starlit void,
that stellar craft will sound.

We fashion answers, look with awe,
and seek to understand
our place within this finite time,
this time in which we stand;
countless millennia plot the course
down to the present day,
but who can chance or even guess
what more may come in play?

Through this continuum of time
we surf on history’s wave,
we long for answers, never found,
that generations crave.
When will we settle trusting still
that peace is found through grace,
while all is relative in life –
and can love fill this place?

Andrew Pratt 5/11/2019
News that Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977 had left the Solar System and are ‘exploring the outer reaches of our cosmic neighbourhood ‘. BBC News November 4th 2019 – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-50289353 accessed 5/1/2019

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.

Tune: CHRISTMAS CAROL (Henry Walford Davies) Available at https://hymnary.org/tune/christmas_carol_davies;
Metre: CMD

Is all prayer communication – https://bramhallmethodists.org.uk/scienceandprayer/

Is all prayer communication
formed in silence or through speech?
Might we hear as well as speaking,
learn the truths you need to teach.

Sometimes it might seem to others
that we’re wasting precious time,
yet in prayer we join our spirits
to God’s singing, dancing rhyme.

God can shape our disposition,
helping us to calm our minds,
joining us in quiet communion,
aiding all the spirit finds.
Andrew Pratt 2/11/2019
Written in response to Professor Peter Howdle’s Seminar on Healthy intercessions
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.
Tune: SERVANT SONG (Gillard)
Metre: 8.7.8.7

We rise and look around us – https://bramhallmethodists.org.uk/scienceandprayer/

We rise and look around us:
all life that breathes or lives,
has shared a common construct
its composition gives.
A careful, complex coding
embodies what we see,
but how we treat each other
defines what we might be.

The cosmos seethes with sadness,
lament infuses prayer,
we cry with one another,
and strength is grounded there.
Yet we are still confounded,
by things we cannot grasp,
for we are only human:
our ignorance will last.

All life is short and finite,
we sometimes live a lie,
that we are born immortal,
yet love will never die.
Beyond this time of living,
through what we see as death
God’s coded love is spanning
our last, our final breath.

Written in response to Professor Peter Howdle’s Seminar on Healthy intercessions
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.
Tune: ELLACOMBE (StF 311)
Metre: 7.6.7.6 D

Communion with our God in prayer – https://bramhallmethodists.org.uk/scienceandprayer/

Communion with our God in prayer
may be explained in mystic ways:
a prophet’s dream, a shining light,
that flashes through the darkest night.

Yet that same sense of harmony
can be explained in other ways,
as neurones channel, pulse and play,
the darkest night can seem like day.

We question, is this God or self?
Can God in spirit fire each mind?
Is prayer a myth we ought to shelve,
as we experiment and delve?

A deeper wisdom might explain
that neural pulses we detect
show prayer and science can equate,
as cause and symptom correlate.

So it should not seem odd or strange,
that when we meditate or pray,
a God incarnate offers grace,
inspires each neural interface.
Andrew Pratt 19/10/2019

Tune: O WALY WALY
Metre: LM
Written in response to Rev’d Canon Dr Joanna Collicutt seminar on The Psychology of Neuroscience and Prayer
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.