Month: November 2013

God of Love – a hymn trying to make sense out of suffering

This is a hymn I wrote after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and before I started blogging. Recent events in the Phillipines and particularly the sermon that was preached at my church this morning made me want to look it up again. It’s to the tune of the Largo from Dvorak’s New World symphony (known to many in the UK as the Hovis tune!). I suggest you edit it out the to repeats of the final line from the first two verses but use them last time round.

God of Love, where are you? Can I still believe?
Cyclones blow, earthquakes rip, countless people grieve.
Tsunamis flood, wrecking homes, parting man from wife.
Drought dries up, famines come, babies cling to life.
Do you care? Where’s your power? Why can’t life be good?
Did you die years ago on a cross of wood?

Children weep tears of loss, cameras drink them in.
Broadcast news shocks the world. What a mess we’re in.
Some despair, lose their faith. Others see a need,
picture Christ healing lives, planting mustard seeds,
use their wealth, live their love, in acts both great and small,
showing us God exists, caring for us all.

Gracious God, lord of love, I believe in you.
Prove you live, show your love, in everything I do.
Help me see, though its dark, ways to do your will,
guard your flame, let it shine, bringing comfort still.
Where there’s death, let me grieve, let me share the pain.
Through my love, let Christ live, raise him up again.
Raise him up again.
Raise him up again.

I was recently asked to preach on the subject of prayer and belief and you can read that sermon, which is effectively a  commentary on this hymn at this link. I also took the opportunity to change a the third line of the first verse of lines to reflect some more recent international concerns.

Terror reigns, madmen kill, with bomb or gun or knife.

If you do use the hymn please feel free to adapt it to reflect concerns that are particularly relevant to the context in which it is to be sung.