Lent 1 – Three hymns and a poem

 He could have walked the easy road 
  
 He could have walked the easy road 
 to fortune and to fame.
 He knew he could work miracles, 
 to heal the blind and lame.
 He could have fed the starving poor 
 with fish as well as bread.
 But Jesus knew that life held more 
 and chose God’s word instead.
  
 He could have trusted angels’ wings, 
 up on that Temple tower. 
 To save him from a fall to death 
 was well within God’s power.
 The people would have marvelled then 
 and guessed this was God’s son.
 But Jesus would not take the test 
 to prove he was that one.
  
 He could have taken full control, 
 the world lay at his feet.
 He only had to say the word: 
 his rule would be complete.
 The mountain view had caught his breath..
 Power was a word away. 
 But Jesus turned back from it all 
 and God had won the day.
  
Marjorie Dobson 
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@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: CMDTune: KINGSFOLD
  
Poem: The time has come
  
 As John had said, 
 ‘the time has come.’
 So Jesus, 
 bowing to the Jordan’s waves 
 and rising to the words 
 ‘beloved Son’ 
 and ‘well pleased,’ 
 was willing to be made ready, 
 by desert trial, 
 to take his place 
 in the unfolding story 
 of God’s love.
  
 But John 
 was soon in prison 
 for speaking out 
 too loud and long 
 for the comfort of the king.
 And Jesus, 
 fresh from temptation 
 and life-changing choices, 
 set off for Galilee, 
 knowing that now was his time 
 to spread good news 
 and bring the kingdom of God 
 to the people for whom 
 it had always been intended.
  
 No more waitng.
 No more preparation. 
 Time to go …
 ©Marjorie Dobson
  
 Jesus met supreme temptation 
  
 Jesus met supreme temptation, 
 countered subtlety with skill; 
 ever faithful to one purpose, 
 still committed to God's will.
             
 With no food he soon was famished, 
 hunger racked him, filled his mind, 
 then a voice had come to taunt him, 
 'bread is there for you to find'.
             
 Each illusion he would parry, 
 each temptation run to ground; 
 all the world was for the asking, 
 yet his faith was strong and sound.
             
 Every miracle and wonder 
 he was tempted to perform
 he rebutted, held the tension;
 he would live beyond this storm.
             
 And when we meet with temptation, 
 save us from each trial and test; 
 strengthen faith, God, give us courage, 
 help us strive toward the best.
 
Andrew Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2010 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@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
Tune: LOVE DIVINE (Stainer)
  
 As glass will take the light – FOR COMMUNION
  
 As glass will take the light
 and focus all its heat;
 here in the water, wine and bread
 we find God's grace complete.
 
 We met God's presence here,
 our promises were sealed;
 but all is lost, is null and void,
 if love is kept concealed.
             
 So in God's peace we go,
 and in the Spirit's power,
 to offer love in word and deed
 in every coming hour.
 
Andrew E Pratt           
© Words © 1997 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, copyright@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: SM
Tune: CARLISLE
  
  
   

John the Baptist – Crazy, ragged, ranting prophet

Crazy, ragged, ranting prophet,
least that’s how some people saw him,
eating locusts and wild honey,
sweeping hypocrites before him.
Standing by the raging river,
raging at unrighteous forces,
calling weak and powerful to him,
sending them on different courses.

This is one the prophets spoke of,
one to clear the way for Jesus;
humble, man of God proclaiming
judgment, grace and mercy for us.
Would we wander to that river?
Hear that vagabond still preaching?
Or would we not want that judgment,
plug our ears to his beseeching?

And today and yet tomorrow
will we take that path and follow,
one who lived through joy and sadness
who would suffer pain and sorrow?
Would we shirk the call of Jesus,
tied to selfishness or borrow,
his audacious loving kindness,
setting free to build tomorrow?

Andrew Pratt 21/11/2012 & 8/12/2018

Tune: CLONMACNOISE

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.

Deep in darkness – Advent Candle Lighting Hymn

1 Deep in darkness we begin,
dark outside and deep within.
Now ignite a single flame,
shadows form, let light remain.

2 As they gleaned the word of life,
narrative of love and strife,
people through each age have known
yet more light: God’s glory shown.

3 John the Baptist spoke out loud,
challenged that discordant crowd,
called each one toward the light,
see it growing, gleaming bright.

4 Mary wondered at her lot,
blessed?  Or cursed?  Or loved?  Or not?
Angels came and glory shone,
feel the love, let light shine on.

5 Look!  a star is shining there.
See the stable stark and bare.
Christmas dawns, all darkness gone!
Christ has come, the light shines on!
7 7 7 7  Suggested Tune: LAUDS (Wilson)
Andrew E Pratt, taken from Reclaiming Praise      

Words © 2003 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.