Hymn of the day

by Richard on November 1, 2005

This hymn by my friend Kim Fabricius seems appropriate for All Saints.

(Tune: Drakes Broughton)

Lord, we thank you for tradition,
for the Fathers and the Creeds,
for Reformers’ erudition,
speaking to the church’s needs.

And we thank you for their power
to transcend a single time,
pressing on the present hour
with still fruitful paradigms.

But, Lord, save us from supposing
that our calling’s to repeat
what the church once said, so closing
minds to truths yet incomplete.

Teach us, Lord, the past’s potential
for creation, not control,
lest we, seeking what’s essential,
take the partial for the whole.

When we see your glory blazing,
our best thoughts will seem like straw;
how can human words and phrasing
capture God who’s always more?

Kim Fabricius

Could this be the first use in hymnody of the word “paradigm”?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Joel 11.01.05 at 10:26 am

The Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church has ruled that gays may be denied church membership. An interesting and sad contrast to what Kim has written.

I am absolutely heartbroken at what the Judical Council has done and am, for the moment, totally ashamed to identify myself as United Methodist. We have there, the Pharisees at their worst in supporting the right of a pastor to establish his or her individual little “kingdom” while denying God’s kingdom and Christ’s love.

2

Swan 11.01.05 at 3:16 pm

I wonder who else they have in their list of people who can be denied church membership…

3

Kim Fabricius 11.01.05 at 5:01 pm

Joel, I share your distress. My own United Reformed Church has not made such a shameful judicial ruling, but there are plenty of colleagues who wish it would. Still, humbly keeping our own reflections under critical review, we must stay alongside our opponents in Christ, argue with them, pray with them - and be patient with them as well as pushy! In God’s providence homophobia will go the way of misogyny and racism.

Here is my most recent hymn. May it give you heart!

In Christ we’re neither nor,
for all in Christ are one;
Christ is himself the open door
through the nations come.

In Christ nor Greek nor Jew,
as oppositions fall
before the one who twins the two
by breaking down the wall.

In Christ nor slave nor free,
now all are slaves to each,
and equal in his company
the greatest and the least.

In Christ nor he nor she,
so men may now be meek,
while women hold apostles’ keys
and bear the worn and weak.

In Christ nor black nor white,
for God is colour-blind;
all human hues the Lord invites
to feasts of bread and wine.

In Christ nor straight nor gay,
and we shall overcome
this final fear that blocks the day
we dream of coming home.

In Christ we’re neither nor,
for all in Christ are one.
Sing praise to Christ the open door
through whom all nations come!

4

Eugene McKinnon 11.02.05 at 11:37 pm

I say bravo to their ruling. Jesus Christ did not come to condemn, but at the same time he did not condone sinful behaviour.

Eugene

5

Joel 11.03.05 at 1:16 am

OK, Eugene. I consider the death penalty to be grossly immoral. I’m a pastor. I decide that anyone who supports the death penalty is advocating for sin. I deny membership to someone who supports the death penalty because I reason that their support for capital punishment makes them too spiritually immature for membership. See where this could go?

6

Richard 11.03.05 at 1:02 pm

Or suppose a pastor refused membership to the overweight (on the grounds of it being evidence of greed)?

7

Joel 11.03.05 at 1:15 pm

Richard, I’m already a pastor, so your efforts to keep me out based on my weight are too late. I’m in the club and besides I’ve made perfect confession and repentance for all my sins, not leaving out a single one, not that I’ve had that many to begin with. And I have perfect knowledge as to who is a sinner and who isn’t. I hold the keys to hell and death. Because I live so shall those who fit my pattern of a Christian and are admitted to my club.*

*Sarcasm alert.

8

Kim Fabricius 11.03.05 at 1:21 pm

And, of course, Eugene begs the essential question and assumes that even committed, loving and faithful homosexual relationships are sinful - which is precisly what lesbian and gay Christians - and their supporters - emphatically deny.

9

Richard 11.03.05 at 1:31 pm

I’m willing to bet my shirt that no charge has ever been brought against a UMC pastor on the basis of their weight.

So you’re safe, Joel. ;)

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