Pure act of Being: our Lord the Transcendent
Imagination spills forth from your hands
Pure act of working your joy to fulfilment:
Breathing your image in woman and man.
Celestial poetry of cosmos and cradle
Transposing eternity’s rhythm and rhyme
Distilling all hope to a cry in a stable:
A single bright essence in space and in time.
Jesus, your love is a draught for the thirsty
In fascination we sip your life-words
Renewing our vision with new eyes of mercy
Lifting our heads to consider the birds.
Abundant River, in ceaseless procession
Blessing, affirming: the Dove and the Voice
Jesus, self-emptying Servant of Heaven -
Sovereign, submits to humanity’s choice.
Holy Community, bliss undivided
Thrust wide your arms on our cruelty’s cross
All our black thoughts to your body confided
Die with our sin and rise new from the dross.
Pure act of following where Jesus beckons
Sweated with doubt and Gethsemane fear
Defeating with weakness what power misreckons
On to Eternity’s Jubilee year.
Commentary: Composing Theology
I’m a worship leader – it’s my job to help the church to praise God. Debates about how best to do this are as old as the hills, but the current conversations around worship have become rather dull terrain. In many lively churches - my own is fairly typical - ‘contemporary’ worship has largely won the day. The urgency of ‘relevance’ in worship for the unchurched majority has usurped concerns for the tradition and a certain kind of artistry in both form and content. In some ways, this has been a necessary corrective to a mothballed and complacent hymnody that no longer speaks to the man in the street; I have argued this case myself more than once. However, in several corners there seems to be growing sense that the winning of the ‘worship wars’ by a genre of simple (sometimes simplistic) Scripture-toting soft-rock songs has been something of a hollow victory.
Why are we fighting about it?
Who is the ‘man in the street’ really anyway?
Have we even bothered to ask ‘him’ what he is capable of comprehending?