Hymn of Justice, Harvest and Development – The earth pleads for justice

The earth pleads for justice, the harvest is wanting

The earth pleads for justice, the harvest is wanting, 
in fire, flood or tempest our crops are destroyed; 
the Spring, once predicted, is desolate, silent, 
excuses are hollow, we’ve done all we can?

The mountains have echoed, or is that God’s whisper, 
the quiet consternation of one in distress? 
A prompting, a question that answers our calling, 
is that your defence, that you’ve done all you can?

While continents crumble and ice caps are melting, 
you sit on your hands, you do nothing at all. 
Wake up to the danger still growing around you, 
and do all you can till your passage is through.

And now in the present let’s work for the future, 
still others will follow, they wait in the wings: 
this planet, its future, its people our neighbours, 
join hands, sing our anthem: ‘we’ll do All We Can!’
Andrew Pratt 13/9/2021

Written at the request of Margaret Parker for Cheadle Hulme Methodist Church to celebrate All We Can (Methodist Relief and Development)
 
Words © 2021 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: 12.11.12.11
Tune: STREETS OF LAREDO/THE BARD OF ARMAGH (Ancient and Modern 551 - YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJPxNjLRhEM ); 
ST CATHERINE’S COURT (Hymns & Psalms 660 - Hymnary - https://hymnary.org/media/fetch/205294 )

When strangers are unwelcome – those needing asylum

When strangers are unwelcome 

When strangers are unwelcome 
the church’s heart beats slow, 
the lost who run from danger 
have nowhere left to go. 
No words of grace are spoken 
while, looking on the world, 
the heart of God is broken: 
love’s banner tightly furled.

The people at our borders 
who need compassion now, 
reach out for care and shelter, 
but rules will not allow 
these ones to seek asylum:
we put up legal walls.
Before we’ve even met them 
we disregard their calls.

Then images from scripture speak 
judgment on the church, 
and call for clearer thinking 
as values seize or lurch. 
The Christ that we would worship 
would turn the world around, 
and shake us from our comfort, 
our certain, solid ground.

Then shatter walls and windows 
and let the church reach out, 
and not with Psalms and anthems, 
but anger, let us shout 
condemning every outrage 
that demonises life, 
and break the laws that damage, 
evoking human strife.

Andrew Pratt 30/7/2021
Words © 2021 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: 7.6.7.6 D
Tune: AURELIA; KINGS LYNN

Inspired by a front page item in the Methodist Recorder 30/7/2021 involving an interview with Rev Inderjit Bhogal.



A topsy-turvy, upturned world – the time to make decisions – Magnificat for election time

A topsy-turvy, upturned world,
where values are distorted,
the first is last and last is first
with everything contorted.
The rich are begging at the door
while ones they were despising
are given charge of Godly wealth,
in stature they are rising.

Magnificat has come to stay,
the proud have been extinguished;
the humble poor are lifted high,
their poverty relinquished.
The reign of God has come to pass
rebutting our world’s choices,
each one that we would count as last
within this time rejoices.

And will we ever find a place
with pride and wealth rejected,
or will hypocrisy deny
our need to be accepted?
The choice is ours, the crisis dawns,
the time to make decisions,
to stand with God or walk alone
within this world’s divisions.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
8 7 8 7 D Tune: CONSTANCE (Sullivan)
Words © 2015 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, 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.

Remembrance – so easy now to judge

So easy now to judge:
that one was right,
another wrong.

But we were never there
in the narrow trench
or corridor of power.
We never heard the thunder’s fire,
nor found ourselves
strung up upon the wire.
We never had to make that bleak decision
consigning one to death,
another to derision.

Our innocence is born of inexperience,
our wisdom consummated in our ignorance.

And if the clocks turned back,
were we to tread where men,
now dead,
once walked,
would we be just as speedy to deride,
or criticise the ones we said once lied?

Dear God,
give generosity of thought
to read the pages history have wrought;
to look with eyes of grace into that time,
to fathom truth and reason
in that jagged, harrowed rhyme.

Then let our lines not ridicule the dead,
for, but for grace,
we might repeat their acts,
yes, but for grace,
we might yet taste their dread.
© Andrew Pratt 2014