Our borders, our walls mock the faith that we own,
denying the Christ that we claim to enthrone,
for Christ is our neigbour to love or reject,
for us to disdain, or to treat with respect.
The justice of God is as real as our flesh,
as real as each life that we drown or refresh;
as active as righteousness seen in the cross,
where love met with hatred while bearing the loss.
And now, in this moment, we need to decide,
our crisis of conscience to love or deride:
to claim that some small print lets us off the hook,
or answer, with courage, Christ’s challenging look?
Andrew Pratt 14/7/2019
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: ST DEINIO
Hard to complain,
presents and tinsel
adorn and clutter,
in ‘tales of old’ the candles gutter.
Replete from the feast,
why should I moan?
Nor yet lament,
‘my God, my God…why are we forsaking them?’
Washed by a tsunami,
shaken by earthquakes,
threatened by fire, dust, lava.
And our compassion rises,
as soon is dissipated.
on our shores,
tiny rubber dinghies bring a ‘threatening cargo’
of migrant people who,
so says the lie,
‘present a crisis’.
Voices are strident or silent,
and the slaughter of the innocents passes,
in our churches.
Yet still they come.
And we, anything but innocent,
‘standby to repel boarders’
instead of asking
‘why do they come?’
And facing with honesty the truth
that people do not run into danger
unless running from something worse?
Avoiding eye contact, I draw patterns in wet sand.
And lamenting, I weep,
‘my God, my God…why are we forsaking them?
Andrew Pratt 31/12/2018
Things we know are never wholly certain,
we fathom and explore,
we test the tangled evidence
while seeking to decide.
This is the time of crisis,
a time for making choices.
Life sometimes stutters,
moving on in stages.
At others it seems seldom interrupted.
Day to day passes without incident.
Then the cancer, infarction,
crippling us with indecision.
Death is inevitable since our birth.
But should we, as the poet wrote,
‘strive against the dying of the light’?
Or, windhover like, roll, riding on the steady air,
swing in mastery of this fluid existence?
Broken pinioned we may plummet,
But is it worth the struggle?
To claw heavenward,
at what present cost?
And all that now determines action will sound ephemeral,
of little consequence.
Such impulses drive the decisions we will make,
for life or death,
in love or grace.
© Andrew Pratt 30/11/2018