You’ve told us you are,
and always have been,
that you made the earth,
then women and men;
Millennia you’re viewing
and sweepingly scan,
you know our departure,
and when we began,
You know how we live,
we know you are pure,
Oh, teach us to grieve,
and may we procure
your mercy and kindness
that we may rejoice
and serve you in wonder
with heart, head and voice.
Tune: 5555 6565 eg Houghton by H Gauntlett
The Bible begins with a perfect earth,
created in beauty with skill –
no illness, no strife and no famine, death,
with nothing to mar that good life until …
The end of the Bible reveals again
a perfect new heavens, new earth
when Jesus returns to judge everyone:
the pardoned gain life, not a living death.
We’re living between, with troubles to bear
because the Creator was spurned.
He’s calling to all to repent, come to share
in the future that Jesus has earned.
Tune: 10 8 10 10
How easily we drift
or take offence at those
we used to care for, growing rift
– it’s hard the gap to close.
Some may be many miles
apart or overseas,
but that’s not what has stilled the smiles
and hindered former ease.
Who was it then to blame?
Don’t really need to know.
Longings remain to see again
how they are faring now.
If there’s a God, what rift
there is between us two,
and only He has got the gift
to draw me near, make new.
The faults are on my side,
– in Christ he can forgive
then help me to be reconciled
with people that I grieve.
If your fears, frustrations fester
lift your heart to prayer for faith
– not a mindless, empty ritual –
finding One who rules the earth.
Read about his interventions –
speaking, coming as a man,
teaching of his real dominion,
who this universe began.
Come in prayer for he invites you,
but come humbly, honestly,
and prepared to turn from what he
shows is wrong, repentantly.
Would you really go on claiming
all you see is meaningless?
and ignore the Christ amazing
who spoke hope and righteousness?
Tune: 87 87 trochaic eg Sussex, tune of ‘May the grace of Christ our Saviour’
John 4: 1-42
Relationships many – her life was a mess,
found Jesus knew all and seemed willing to bless –
returned to the town to tell people this must
be surely Messiah, the Saviour to trust.
They went out to find him, to meet him and hear
his teaching and knowledge – and soon it was clear
that Jesus was Saviour: Samaritans, Jews
and Gentiles – for all he’d astounding good news!
Tune: 11 11 11 11
“I’ll build my church: it will not fail,
the wiles of hell will not prevail.”
It will for ever stand complete,
satanic schemes will know defeat.
He’ll build it well of living stones,
each made to fit the neighbouring ones,
supporting, each one different, so
with various skills his will they’ll do.
Not just a pile of rolling stones,
a church, a body – Jesus hones,
refines, directs us, sanctifies:
we work together, praises rise.
If one believer goes it ‘lone’,
the wall is weakened where a ‘stone’
has left a hole – and those nearby
lack help on which they could rely.
Tune: LM eg ‘Church Triumphant’ by James Elliott
Matthew 16:18 Jesus said, ‘I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’
1 Peter 2:5 ‘You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.’
No human wisdom is enough
to help us when the way is tough.
The best of human leaders fail,
but One has power that can avail,
and has resources limitless:
approach him, pray in your distress.
Our leaders and we each one need
to persevere and intercede
and ask God’s mercy, intervention
in many a desperate situation,
and ask He guide how we proceed
and strengthen for the tasks, we plead.
Tune: 88 88 88
Fear of illness, fear of death,
fear of dying’s laboured breath,
fear of no-one near to share,
fear of need, and lack of care,
fear of lawlessness and crime –
anarchy – a fearful time,
breakdown of communal structure,
order’s safety-net in rupture.
God is there whatever comes,
shelter in the wildest storms.
Though he lets foundations shake,
evil purposes to break,
holds, protects us to fulfil
for our good, his perfect will,
one day, he’ll all troubles halt,
good and perfect world create.
Tune: 77 77 D
‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way, and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.’ Psalm 46:1-3
The churches are empty, and so is the tomb!
We’re longing to worship together as one,
but still we are thrilling, and each lift our voice –
whatever may happen we know, and rejoice:
for Christ is alive and hats bought us his gift
of life everlasting that heals the great rift –
from him we no longer need keep far apart –
he took all that sin which infected our heart.
Tune: 11 11 11 11
So vast the chasm, huge the rift
between pure goodness, love, and they
who on his earth carelessly drift
and no respect or rental pay.
He gave them much, and often spared
though few gave thought to make request;
their folly grieved him, for he cared
and knew their loss, they lacked the best.
What could he do? the rift was great.
Could they be healed and reconciled,
brought into such a holy state
that each could be his friend, his child?
He spoke, he came, he took their place
to pay the price for all their sin;
his Spirit moved their hearts in grace
to humbly turn, return to him.
And those who did, shunned squabbling
and malice, selfishness and greed,
all hatred, and proud babbling:
to foster peace they’d now been freed!