Friday, April 26, 2019

God is not lifted up far away

God is not lifted up far away;
God is not hid in deeps far below;
Take this word on your heart and your tongue:
God is with you wherever you go.

May the Lord speak through you;
May you be God’s messenger on the way.
May the Lord shine through you,
How you live, how you work, what you say.

Who will offer the word of the Lord
To the ones who have not heard his name?
So how lovely the feet of the ones
Who will take the good news to proclaim!


TEXT: CSF, 2014, 2019, after Romans 10:6-8, 15
MUSIC: Tune SWEET BY AND BY, Joseph P. Webster, 1868

This has previously existed with just the one verse as a charge and blessing; it felt as though Romans 10 had more to offer. And yes, this reaches back to an "oldie goldie" tune, along the lines of this hymn

For those who hold us up

For those who hold us up when we are weak and fall:
Give thanks to God for those who give their strength to one and all.

For those who hold our needs in earnest, faithful prayer:
Give thanks to God for those who will not judge us our despair.

For those who show us love we don’t deserve by far:
Give thanks to God for those who love us wholly as we are.

For those who hold our lives in love and care and grace:
Give thanks to God for people such as these here in this place.

TEXT: CSF, 2019
MUSIC: Tune JULIA, CSF, 2019

Note: yes, an original tune. It really needs to be harmonized for good four-part congregational singing. I am extremely poor at such things.

New note: Blatant hinting works! See below a harmonization by Caleb Mutch, with thanks to Sarah Godbehere for sharing the original with him.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Lord, when surrounded

Lord, when surrounded by calls to fear and hatred,
And idols false are thrust before our way,            
Then teach us hope and peace as your path for us,
And be alone our comfort every day.

When those who lead us make for our adoration
Idols of nation and security,
Call us, as Micah did, to yearn for justice,
And you alone our mighty fortress be.

Help us remember you are a God of nations,
And nations all your life and Passion share.
So, when we claim that you are only our God,
We place ourselves outside your guiding care.

Teach us surrender to your salvation only,
Turning aside from prophets false of war,
‘Til we abide with you in perfect fullness,
Singing in praise and joy forevermore.

TEXT: CSF, 2013
MUSIC: Tune: DONNE SECOURS (altered), Scottish Psalter, 1635

Saturday, April 6, 2019

With our physical lives broken

With our physical lives broken,
            With hope fading into fear,
Bodies failing or cut open,
            Fates we never want to hear:
Where is Christ, the Great Physician?
            Where is Jesus’ healing touch?
Dare we question why this torment,
            Why we suffer pain so much?

Have we sinned somehow, unwitting?
            Have we failed to honor you?
Is there some great deed of service
            That we somehow failed to do?
Though your words refute such wond’ring,
            Make it clear that’s not your way,
Still we cannot help but question
            When there’s nothing left to say.

Still you promise not to leave us,
            Though our doubting is not stayed.
You have claimed us in your kingdom,
            Ev’n amidst our fears arrayed.
Let us not despair of knowing
            That your care for us is real,
Even if we don’t recover
            Or our wounds can never heal.

Text: CSF, 2019.
Music: Suggested tune BEACH SPRING, The Sacred Harp, 1844.