Sunday, March 04, 2012

A Hymn for Henryville -- And Other Tornado Wracked Towns

This morning at Meeting for Worship at West Newton Friends Meeting, Sylvia Graves passed around lyrics to a song she invited us to sing for those in Henryville and other storm wreaked cities. The hymn was written by Gareth Hill is a British Methodist pastor and hymn writer. He composed this hymn reflecting on the aftermath of the December 2004 earthquake and tsunami that resulted in more than 100,000 deaths in southern and southeastern Asia, Indonesia, and Africa. Sylvia adapted a few of the lyrics to fit our Henryville neighbors' situation.

I offer it as a hymn and prayer for all of those wounded by storms -- external and internal.

The words are sung to the tune of "The Church's One Foundation."

When innocence is fractured by nature’s shifting force,

And paradise is ruptured as life is swept off course.

We come to pray our questions, we come to share our grief;

In this, our act of worship, to say that we believe.

As headlines overwhelm us and make us close our minds;

As news from distant neighbors brings death before our eyes.

We seek a hope to cling to, a refuge to embrace;

Lest in the grip of knowing, we lose our hold on grace.

How dare we speak of Heaven made human for our sakes,

Or preach a loving Father when storms our faith does shake?

We dare because our story speaks of a love that came

To bear the cost of dying and still would do the same.

In Christ our souls take refuge, though not to hide from truth:

We face each anguished question with faith, if not with proof.

We hear his wistful question: “And will you leave me too?”

Though all the world should crumble, We hope, O Christ, in you.

Gareth Hill © GraceNotes Music Copyright © 2005 GraceNotes Music. Published by The United Methodist General Board of Discipleship, PO Box 340003, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Telephone 615-340-7070. Website

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