Father Ian's Ponderings:
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Welcome to worship
Our news in this past week continues to be filled with natural disasters, war and conflict and often vitriolic and toxic comments about refugees and marriage equality, just to name a few issues. Natural diasters we cannot avert (except in making it a topic for our prayers and support for those affected). We can strive to be people who support causes of peace and we can strive to bring change to the language and debate would deprive people of equality.
When Jesus calls his disciples to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow him; to me this is not so much about black and white thinking on issues that affect not only the church, but the whole of society. More importantly it is about thinking and putting into action gospel values that Jesus and the New Testament writers were at pains to emphasize. The reading from Romans today is a fine example: “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection….Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.” This is truth in living the faith, rather than being judgmental of other cultures, faiths and diverse expressions of living our humanity.
Yours on the journey,
p.s. Please see below two hymns that have been written for Sunday. Any constructive comments would be welcome.
GOSPEL HYMN: TAKE UP YOUR CROSS
Tune: Breslau 88.88
1. Christ Jesus call us to his way,
take up your cross and follow on,
a cross that beckons us to be
a living sacrifice for him
2. A cry for change was Jesus then,
take up your cross to follow on;
to meet the needs of current days,
with thoughtful lives and prayerful gaze.
3. The challenge of society
accepting wide diversity;
is part of God’s amazing world
to stand for all whose needs unfurl.
4. The call to love and change the world,
take up your cross with courage, speak
equality for all who live,
whatever faith and life they lead.
5. Christ Jesus calls us on his way,
to meet the needs of one and all;
to lift up all who are weighed down,
to raise the fallen from the ground.
6. There is no other better way,
take up your cross and follow Christ.
The journey leads us further still
to new life gained from Calvary’s hill.
© Ian Howarth 2017
OFFERTORY HYMN: COME, O PEOPLE TO THE ALTAR
Tune: Manheim 87.87.87
1. Come, O people to the altar
here to meet the Christ, we pray,
offer to the one who saves us
what we have to bring today.
Gifts of life, of love, of laughter
more than tokens, come our way.
2. Come, O Christ here to your altar,
piece of bread and sip of wine.
In our hearts you are here present
by your Sacrament divine.
Gifts of life, of love, of healing,
feed us with your life to shine
3. with your Spirit, come among us
strengthen our resolve we pray;
with our hearts and hands to strive for
all your people, come what may -
feed your world with food and gladness,
so that hope and faith can stay.
4. In a world of disenchantment
wrongs that overweigh the rights
of the many disenfranchised
power corrupted by such vice.
Gifts of life, that love us, feed us,
feed your world, put all aright.
5. We who gather round your altar,
who have each an offering here,
Gifts of love, of service, freedom
breaking bonds of strife and fear.
Overcome with new hope brewing
Come, O love of God draw near.
© Ian Howarth 2017