Advent Calendar 2008

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Day Twenty : 19th December

16th December

Psalm 72

Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king's son

2 May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.

3 May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.

4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.

Linda quoted bits of this John Bell hymn in a July 2004 sermon:
find it in Together in Song at hymn 674 (sung to the tune Salley Gardens)

1 Inspired by love and anger, disturbed by need and pain,
informed of God's own bias, we ask him once again:
'How long must some folk suffer? How long can few folk mind?
How long dare vain self-interest turn prayer and pity blind?'

2 From those for ever victims of heartless human greed,
their cruel plight composes a litany of need:
'Where are the fruits of justice? Where are the signs of peace?
When is the day when prisoners and dreams find their release?'

3 From those for ever shackled to what their wealth can buy,
the fear of lost advantage provokes the bitter cry:
'Don't query our position! Don't criticise our wealth!
Don't mention those exploited by politics and stealth!'

4 To God, who, through the prophets proclaimed a different age,
we offer earth's indifference, its agony and rage:
'When will the wrong be righted?' When will the kingdom come?
When will the world be generous to all instead of some?

5 God asks, 'Who will go for me? Who will extend my reach?
And who, when few will listen, will prophesy and preach?
And who, when few bid welcome, will offer all they know?
And who, when few dare follow, will walk the road I show?'

6 Amused in someone's kitchen, asleep in someone's boat,
attuned to what the ancients exposed, proclaimed and wrote,
a saviour without safety, a tradesman without tools
has come to tip the balance with fishermen and fools.

Words from Wild Goose Songs 1, Heaven Shall Not Wait

John L. Bell 1949-
Graham Maule 1958-