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
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
Arise, uplift my song to God
from whom I have my being,
from whom I draw the stream of life
– my heart from darkness freeing.
Cast off those thoughts that seek to fell
and pull into depression –
helped by that power by which Christ rose
– God’s power of resurrection.
He covenanted to preserve:
to others Christ displaying
through all his nurturing me in love,
by which I’m blessed, obeying.
By grace, I’ll persevere through health
and sickness, honour, scorning.
Although the world and flesh will pull,
he prompts with help and warning.
This was inspired by, and partly based on an old Welsh hymn I read
Tune: 87 87 iambic eg Dominc Regit ‘une of ‘The King of love my Shepherd is’
or Constance 87 87 87 87 iambic tune of ‘I’ve found a Friend, O such a Friend’’
God himself who formed the stars
loves me, truly loves me!
Sent his Son, his dear Son
bearing scorn to save me!
Melts my heart and fires my soul:
loving him, my Lord, my all!
God loved me before the stars
all were fashioned by him.
He will love me beyond time
– sight will swell my praising:
There I’ll fully taste and see
all his love and majesty.
[Tune: 76 76 77 but can be sung to England’s Lane (tune of ‘For the beauty of the earth’ which is 77 77 77 ) or Liebster Jesu by Johann Rudolph Ahle (tune of Blessed Jesus, at Thy word’’ which is 78 78 88, and needs linking crochets to minims – ie two long syllables, not four brief ones – at the beginning of lines 2 and 4!)]
Satan clouds their thinking – so becoming blind:
cannot see things clearly, sluggishness of mind.
Tricked them into thinking God himself is blind
and can’t see their malice, deaf to words unkind.
Smirking when they are not punished straight away,
hope God has no record to reveal one day.
He exists and sees us, everything’s observed,
but his Son he asked to bear what we deserved.
Tune: 65 65 eg Tunes of ‘At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow’
on Psalm 103
Angels, praise your Maker’s worth,
praise him all who here on earth
serve him; all of nature shows
beauty that his skill bestows.
And my soul should ever praise
who He is, my Lord’s good ways,
King who rules, delights to give
redemptive love by which we live.
His compassion and his grace
understands, and we can trace
kindness and provision shown –
adoptions’s covenant we own.
Tune: 77 77
I liked to drink and mess about,
with no-one to restrain,
I did it my way, soon found out
it led to sadness, pain.
I’m fickle with my friends, don’t want
commitment – free and loose.
– Why is it that decisions haunt
and feel like self-abuse?
I left my home, and took my share,
then squandered it away.
Bankrupt, with no-one left to care
– my ‘pals’ had had their play.
Dare I return, my way now own
was stupid? ask for food?
But look! he’s running, welcomes home
and gives again what’s good!
(cf The parable of the Prodigal Son, recorded in Luke 15)
‘ He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven …’ Acts 14:17
A gift of God sustaining life,
refreshment after thirst and drought
to fill the rivers, reservoirs,
and moisten earth so plants can sprout.
But rain falls inconveniently
and interrupts warm sunny days:
we cannot organise these things,
need God to order well our ways.
We should do well to take account
that once he sent a world-wide flood
because of wickedness so great,
and though he said he never would
again so flood the earth, there will
be surely judgement day to come,
and that is why the rainbow speaks
of mercy coming through God’s Son.
For like a refuge in the rain,
we shelter from what we are due
for all offence to judgment right,
we gain instead that comfort true.
And then we drink, refreshed, awake,
the Holy Spirit quenches thirst,
he quickens, nurtures and he fills
us, in his love we are immersed.
Tune: DLM eg ‘Ye banks and braes’
Do you reject this news that’s really good
because of me?
D’you feel I’m hypocritical, and should
be living, do I seem a shallow lie?
Don’t judge me hastily, I truly try.
Maybe you’ve others met who tell this news
who’ve let you down,
and so you shut your ears, their words refuse
– don’t shun a crown,
if messengers are poor, still ponder well
the things they shared, important news we tell.
Or is it rather that your anger strong
is with this God?
for, if he’s true, why is there here such wrong
not perfect good?
he hasn’t taken out all evil yet,
so answers seek from him – ‘don’t ask, won’t get.’
Tune: 10 4 10 4 10 10 eg Sandon by Charles Purday (tune of ‘Unto the hills around do I lift up’)