Friday, 22 December 2017

IN EVERY FACE THAT STARES OUT FROM THE MANGER - Incarnation now - hymn

In every face that stares out from the manger,
each person bears the image of our God,
in Christ is human flesh affirmed and honoured,
for God has walked where human feet have trod.

In every face of youth, of age, each baby,
uplifted by the earth life of the Christ:
the stable bed, the cross of common torture,
marked off his life, these markers once sufficed.

And this we show, when we live incarnation,
to make God's presence real for humankind,
the wine we drink, the bread so freely broken
speak of the love of God so richly mined.

And those who live and suffer in this moment,
the dispossessed, oppressed throughout the earth,
are raised beyond frustration and existence,
to know, in living, their uncommon worth.
© Andrew Pratt 28/11/2011
Tunes: O PERFECT LOVE or INTERCESSOR
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.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

CHRISTMAS HYMN - AN UNMARRIED MOTHER GAVE BIRTH IN A STABLE


An unmarried mother gave birth in a stable,
some saw a fulfilment of all they had heard,
to others this story, the birth of the Godhead,
was more than amazing, was frankly absurd.

Some delved into scripture and said that a virgin,
was destined to carry a child who would grow
to be a Messiah, salvation for nations,
and others would question how history could know.

So back to the story, now Bethlehem beckons,
a carpenter-pawn come to sign for the state,
the bureaucrats needing a list for taxation
and everyone hurries before it’s too late.

A legend would grow up of shepherds and magi,
no snow at this Christmas beneath a night’s sky.
A man who would die as a crucified preacher
was born with sparse shelter as people passed by.

And so came the story of birth in a stable,
of Bethlehem’s journey, a virgin and child.
And lost is the essence, the mystery and wonder,
of God born among us abused and reviled.

Much later a soldier saw God in this prophet
a man  who would love to his very last breath
the dying, the hopeless, those outside religion,
and all those beside who had shared in his death.
Andrew Pratt 22/11/2017
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.
An unmarried mother gave birth in a stable,
some saw a fulfilment of all they had heard,
to others this story, the birth of the Godhead,
was more than amazing, was frankly absurd.

Some delved into scripture and said that a virgin,
was destined to carry a child who would grow
to be a Messiah, salvation for nations,
and others would question how history could know.

So back to the story, now Bethlehem beckons,
a carpenter-pawn come to sign for the state,
the bureaucrats needing a list for taxation
and everyone hurries before it’s too late.

A legend would grow up of shepherds and magi,
no snow at this Christmas beneath a night’s sky.
A man who would die as a crucified preacher
was born with sparse shelter as people passed by.

And so came the story of birth in a stable,
of Bethlehem’s journey, a virgin and child.
And lost is the essence, the mystery and wonder,
of God born among us abused and reviled.

Much later a soldier saw God in this prophet
a man  who would love to his very last breath
the dying, the hopeless, those outside religion,
and all those beside who had shared in his death.
© Andrew Pratt 22/11/2017

HYMNS POSTED ON THIS BLOG MAY BE USED FREELY LOCALLY WITH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. TO PUBLISH FOR PROFIT PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHOR. For more hymns go to Hymns page For Books by Andrew Pratt follow LINKS on the Links page. Books are available on the following sites: Amazon, Stainer & Bell Ltd, Twelvebaskets, SCM-Canterbury Press Latest book due Summer 2010 SCM Studyguide Practical Skills for Ministry - follow this link - http://www.scm-canterburypress.co.uk/bookdetails.asp?ISBN=9780334043591 Andrew Pratt lectures at Luther King House, The Partnership for Theological Education, Manchester as a Methodist Tutor at Hartley Victoria College