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

Poem for Holy Innocents – 28th December

Already reaping expectations of the choices we have made,
children wait in sundry mangers.

Families continue into exile unwelcome still at England’s door.

And does Herod wait, disguised in the pretence of wishing to join the celebration?
To usher in a new era?

Magi wait in the wings of an infant’s play bearing false gifts,
guilt covered cardboard boxes,
rich perfume to mask stale corruption.

Yet, out of this pantomime may yet emerge a deeper understanding…

Will today’s innocents survive the devastations of power, politics and greed?

Go home by another way?

Copyright Andrew Pratt 2019

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

Susanna Wesley Anniversary Hymn 1

One of two hymns written for the Anniversary of the Birth of Susanna Wesley 350 years ago – 20th January 1669.
She was the mother of John and Charles Wesley.

The wisdom of women, so often determines
the paths that we take from the moment of birth;
both nature and nurture define through our growing:
a life hardly noticed or fame upon earth.

As parents we live out our lives through our children,
restraining, controlling or letting them grow;
demanding obedience, enabling their freedom,
or opening doors, simply letting them go.

The care and compassion received in the cradle
can influence choices and actions we take,
the growth of our faith, or our arrogant conflict,
the walls that we build, or the bridges we make.

From humble beginnings faith leaders are nurtured,
in just such a crib can a tyrant be found,
a mother or father can model commitment,
God’s graciousness planted in gently tilled ground.

And so we remember the strength of our parents,
their place in informing what we have become,
and those who through history have parented leaders
extending their influence through daughter or son.

Andrew Pratt 14/1/2019
Metre: 12.11.12.11
Tunes: ST CATHERIINES COURT; STREETS OF LAREDO
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.

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)