We thank you for the model of
the community of love which you showed us
We thank you for the witness of churches in San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Of Pequeno Nazareno working with street children in Fortaleza Brazil
We thank you for the artists and broadcasters that reflect the truth in difficult times
We thank you for all those who make visible
the loving spirit of your gospel.
We pray that we will find that strength,
that we will link arms together,
to be a community of hope
These are hard times, even puzzling times,
so we need to be reminded day by day
to make a difference –
to reject the ways of violence
We thank you for those who have been examples to us
We thank you for those who picked up the torch and led the way
May we do the same
And may our churches bring hope that resonates for all,
May they be courageous, prophetic, loving and just.
Making Holy dreams come true
What have they done to the little town of Bethlehem?
Some thoughts on Bethlehem for Christmas Eve
Making Holy Dreams Come True (A Christmas prayer for Bethlehem)
What have they done to the “Little Town”?
Imprisoned it in a concrete wall
Bethlehem – once a holy city
Trapped inside a ghetto wall.
Here where angels sang of peace
Where love and hope were born anew
Once surrounded by a heavenly host
Now surrounded by a concrete view.
Yet people crushed and hidden away
Still celebrate on Christmas Eve
Lighting candles for the child –
They still remember – still believe.
So light a candle this Holy Night
For Bethlehem and Beit Sahour
And for all the people caught inside
That cold and grey prison wall
Longing for a world of peace
Where all are treated equally
Where all can recognise their worth
Where all can live with dignity –
Where all can join hands with neighbours
Whether Muslim, Christian, Jew
And find a way to live together
Making holy dreams come true.
Garth Hewitt from his book ‘Making Holy Dreams Come True’ (SPCK) with thanks to Chris Rogers for his violin accompaniment from the album ‘Peace at Christmas’ available here
Garth has released his song Oscar Romero on youtube as a tribute to Monsignor Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, who is being made a saint by Pope Francis on Sunday 14th October 2018.
Oscar Romero was assassinated (while leading Mass) on 24th March 1980 for his outspoken support of the poor and unjustly treated, and his stand against violence.
Garth wrote this song shortly afterwards and it was released on the album Alien Brain in 1985. It has been included on the newly released double album Against the Grain available here on this website.
Alien Brain is also available as download or CD on the GingerDog Records website here
O God we have been on a journey through Lent
And now we are walking with you through Holy Week —
May we pause and pray and meet with you.
Your teaching has been about the kingdom or community of God,
A way of life and a community that goes up against the empires of domination —
As relevant now as it ever has been.
The empires of greed favouring the rich and powerful,
Instead of your way reflecting justice for all.
As you head to Jerusalem you are witness to this on Palm Sunday
As you ride in with non-violence,
From one side of Jerusalem gentle and riding on a donkey —
From the other side the army of empire, injustice, greed and oppression.
As you turn the tables of oppression, so the empire wants you killed
The powers who rule, crucify you: the sin of the world kills you.
But on Easter Sunday God affirms you and all you have done —
There is the rising again —
God’s community of love continues forever.
May we be in the community of love —
The community that is never silent
And so a community of the Gospel bringing justice and hope to all.