Friday, May 21, 2010

Worship Resources for Times of Crisis // From the Methodist Church's General Board of Discipleship

In the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, I was thrilled to discover this resource from the United Methodist Church's General Board of Discipleship website. Its Worship Resources for Times of Crisis include liturgy, hymns, poems, calls to worship and more for times of grief and loss, terrorism and violence, war and natural disasters. I was moved to find a new hymn written specifically for Haiti the day after the earthquake.

Some of the most recent resources include a hymn about the war in Iraq called "We Cannot Be Dismissive" and one named "We Should Not Live Through This Without a Protest," about the violence in the Middle East.

Many of these hymns, including the ones named above, are written by Rev. Dr. Andrew Pratt, a British Methodist minister and hymnist. Dr. Pratt's lyrics are poignant in that they bring the reality of tragedies directly into the worship setting, and they do nothing to gloss over or tame the rawness of the suffering and the questions brought about by war and natural disaster. One of my favorites that I've seen is called "We Understand Tectonic Plates":

We understand tectonic plates
That move beneath our feet
We understand that powerful waves
Make rivers in the street
But when we try to centre God
Our sense is incomplete

To say creation points to God
Will never make real sense
Except within a frame of faith
Outside it brings offense
Our claim is more than paradox
Within this present tense

And so we struggle with the fact
That contradict belief
Until we find a greater truth
We never find relief
Reason and revelation clash
And die in disbelief

We honor God for all that is
And all that is to be
We may not understand God's ways
Until eternity
But love is stronger than belief
And faith can help us see

This sort of hymn is precisely what the church needs--to engage with the world and to wrestle with question we'd rather ignore in worship.

No comments:

Post a Comment