Friday 2 April 2021

Great God, in Christ You Call Our Name

This year’s Good Friday hymn is one that belongs more appropriately to Maundy Thursday. I cited stanzas three and four (below) at our church’s Maundy Thursday Breaking of Bread service this year.

I always find the stanzas deeply moving when I return to them. They’re a much-needed reminder that if I don’t always see Jesus, it’s probably because I’m looking in the wrong place. He’s not necessarily ‘up there somewhere’; as often as not, he’s ‘down there’, washing out the muck between my toes.

Great God, your love has called us here

as we, by love, for love were made.

Your living likeness still we bear,

though marred, dishonoured, disobeyed.

We come, with all our heart and mind,

your call to hear, your love to find.

We come with self-inflicted pains

of broken trust and chosen wrong;

half-free, half-bound by inner chains;

by social forces swept along,

by powers and systems close confined;

yet seeking hope for humankind.

Great God, in Christ you call our name

and then receive us as your own,

not through some merit, right or claim

but by your gracious love alone.

We strain to glimpse your mercy-seat

and find you kneeling at our feet.

Then take the towel, and break the bread,

and humble us, and call us friends.

Suffer and serve till all are fed,

and show how grandly love intends

to work till all creation sings,

to fill all worlds, to crown all things.

Great God, in Christ you set us free

your life to live, your joy to share.

Give us your Spirit’s liberty

to turn from guilt and dull despair

and offer all that faith can do

while love is making all things new

Brian Wren (b. 1936)

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