Ash Wednesday and Lent

Some stuff here – help yourselves 🙂

Lent sonnet

These forty days of prayer and discipline
are given for us to slowly grow in grace
and learn to be your people once again,
to find our truest home in your embrace.
In pilgrimage, through hours and days and weeks
of changing who we are and what we do,
the human heart may find that which it seeks:
ourselves, once restless, find their rest in you,
our mother hen, whose chicks at last come home
to find the safest place where they may cling;
we need not face the wilderness alone,
but nestle in shadow of your wing.
Oh, forty days of learning how to be
what you have promised us eternally.

Ash Wednesday hymn (tune: Picardy) – slightly revised

Dust to dust, we mark our repentance,
entering a guilty plea,
Ash to ash, we face our sentence,
Sin writ large for all to see:
Now these signs of all our falls from grace,
mark us for divine embrace.

Dust of earth once shaped and moulded
into this, our human frame,
Body, mind and soul enfolded,
given life and called by name.
Now O Lord remake our damaged form,
Hold us till our hearts grow warm.

Dust that fuels the lights of heaven,
Stars and planets passing by,
Atoms of creation’s splendour,
Earth to earth and sky to sky,
Now our dust, redeemed, sings loud and long
in that universal song.

Lent hymn / song (tune: slane)
the ten commandments verse can be omitted if that’s not your focus

Lord of our life, our beginning and end,
Our Father, our shepherd, our Saviour and friend,
We look to your teaching in each fresh new day
To lead us and guide us and show us your way.

Ten laws to teach us to live in your love,
Ten ways to make earth more like heaven above,
Ten rules to inspire all we think, say and do,
To help us be faithful in following you.

You are our safety, our great mother hen,
Whenever we wander you call us again,
We’ll always be drawn to your loving embrace
To nestle beneath the soft wings of your grace.

This is our story, and this is our song:
For we are your people, to you we belong,
Wherever life takes us, in all that we do,
Our hearts will find peace when we’re resting in you.

A poem about Lent

Trying to get myself in the right mindset (heartset, soulset etc) for Lent.

These forty days of prayer and discipline
are given for us to slowly grow in grace
and learn to be your people once again,
to find our truest home in your embrace.
In pilgrimage, through hours and days and weeks
of changing who we are and what we do,
the human heart may find that which it seeks:
ourselves, once restless, find their rest in you,
our mother hen, whose chicks at last come home
to find the safest place where they may cling;
we need not face the wilderness alone,
but nestle in shadow of your wing.
Oh, forty days of learning how to be
what you have promised us eternally.

Dusty feet

This is a sonnet-format response to a friend’s facebook post asking if there are any hymns about shaking the dust off one’s feet. It’s not at all what he asked for – sorry Steve!

The dust reminds us of our origin,
from where we’ve come, not where we want to go.
And as it clings, brings with it all we’ve been:
familiar places, things we think we know
and may not like; perhaps we’d like to leave
them all behind, but they have made us who
we are today.  The stuff we now believe,
the wisdom our experience treats as true
is just as much a part of us as all
the atoms of our flesh. And we are kind
of stardust. That’s a fact with its own call
on what we choose to keep or leave behind.
Then, when we shake the dust from off our shoes
we do so, knowing what we have to lose.