Hymn – Martin Luther King – still for our time – a hymn for today – I have a dream…

 I have a dream that on a day
 not very long from now,
 all war-like weapons will be banned;
 by grace, God, show us how.
 I have a dream that love will hear
 another's crying need,
 that justice will demand we act
 in spite of race or creed.
 
 I have a dream that everyone
 upon this far-flung earth
 will see the Christ in those around,
 affirm a common worth.
 I have a dream that peace will come
 and hunger cease to be;
 within this time, this present age,
 all people will be free.
 
 I have a dream that foolish dreams
 like this might come about
 if you and I go hand in hand,
 in trust instead of doubt.
 I have a dream, come take my hand,
 the risk is worth the chance,
 the world will spin, turn upside down
 if we join heaven's dance.
 
 Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
 
 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. 
 Hope Publishing in the USA
 From More than hymns 
 Metre: CMD
 Tune: KINSFOLD

God’s on our side

Twenty years ago this year the USA, and with it the world, was shaken with the attack on the World Trade Center in New York. This exacerbated the polarisation of faith traditions and ideologies across the globe. Tensions increased and an ‘us and them’ mentality, already present, was exaggerated by political posturing, understandable, to a degree, in the light of what had happened. Broken bridges have still not been rebuilt but today those labelled enemies in Western nations are as much within as outside out borders and reconciliation is still needed. Ideologies are in tension with each other and this is overlaid by the threat of a pandemic. Global cooperation has never been more necessary. A hymn I wrote in 2001 within 24 hours of 9/11 is perhaps still pertinent…those we label or sense to be enemies inhabit the fabric of our own politics. Their actions are not as obvious but just as damaging…trust is at a premium…

1 God's on our side, and God will grieve
 
at carnage, loss and death;
 
for Jesus wept, and we will weep
 
with every grieving breath.
 
 

2 God's on their side, the enemy,
 
the ones we would despise;
 
God quench our vengeance, still our pride,
 
don't let our anger rise.
 
 

3 God's on each side, God loves us all,
 
and through our hurt and pain
 G
od shares the anguish, nail scarred hands
 
reach out?love must remain.
 
 

4 God show us how to reconcile
 
each difference and fear,
 
that we might learn to love again
 
and dry the other's tear.
 
 

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
 © 2001 Stainer and Bell Ltd., please include any use on your CCL Licence return or contact Stainer & Bell via www.stainer.co.uk. Administered in the USA by Hope Publishing. 
Tunes: AMAZING GRACE; BASIE (Kleinheksel)

Some of the poetry in Words, Images and Imagination are perhaps pertinent to this situation…

We will not own the words of hate – a plea for mutual humanity

We will not own the words of hate
that lead to horror, carnage, death;
our song is love and only love,
from now until our final breath.

We stand with those who share with us,
humanity and human grace,
and those who own a different way,
another heritage or face.

God, show us how to join our hands,
to value life, to share and pray,
until we break down walls of hate
embodying a different way.
Andrew Pratt 23/4/2019
Tune: RIVAULX
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.

After the bombing of churches in Sri Lanka, at a time when inter-faith tension has a risk of increasing across the globe.