Hymns for Peace? #MPNN

How often has a hymn taken your breath away as you have sung it? Today’s call to ‘Make Peace the New Normal’ is a chance for us to turn into song our shared commitment to Peace.

Earlier this year, Peacelinks, our newsletter, carried a fascinating analysis of the work of Shirley Murray and Graham Maule, both of whom had died. Hymnwriter Andrew Pratt explained the power of their work:

Their significance cannot be underestimated. How far
hymns will be useful in the future we cannot tell,
but corporate song binds people together, enables
us to express thoughts, emotions and convictions
that are more difficult to communicate in prose.
We remember songs and they can motivate and
reinforce communal action. Murray and Maule
have both written in a way that underlines peace
and justice.

As our day of ‘Making Peace the New Normal’ draws to a close why not draw your thoughts together by writing a hymn? Our current situation, locally and globally has much to say about what it means to be a disciple today.

Gary Hopkins, a Midlands Hymnwriter, offered the following yesterday as his reaction to the world today:

(Note: It can be sung to the tune(s) Abbotts Leigh or Scarlett Ribbons )

  1. God, our anger at injustice
    swells from deep within our core:
    anger at decision makers
    for oppression we deplore;
    anger at the ones who lead us
    for indifference to the poor;
    anger at the lies, deception,
    selfishness that we abhor.

2. Systems made to serve the privileged,
tightly gripped by those with power –
stripping others of life chances –
edicts from an ivory tower.
God our anger fires within us:
bring your justice, liberate;
come and shatter worldly systems;
take the least and make them great!

3. Channel grief and anger in us;
let us be your voice and hands.
Spirit, guide our justice-seeking,
take us where your love demands.
Christ destroys the powers and forces,
chains of bondage, unjust strife,
not by might and raging violence
but a sacrificial life.

4. How long, Maker, Word and Spirit,
till such evils are reversed?
How long till your reign is finished
and the last become the first?
Hear us God, we pray for justice,
hear our cries for those oppressed,
hear our voices, never silenced,
till the least are truly blessed.

© Gary Hopkins 2020
Suggested Tunes: Abbot’s Leigh or Scarlet Ribbons

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