The Lord is God, and there is not another
on earth below or heaven high above.
None but the Lord has done such signs and wonders;
none but our God such power ever proved.
We are God's own, and we shall have no other
than God alone, who made us for his love.
His word is law, who speaks us into being;
his law is love, who died on Calvary.
For this he came, from heaven once all-seeing
as God-with-us, one with ourselves to be,
to teach the way, our fallen world redeeming,
to break the chains, and set the captives free.
No other God, no other law shall save us;
no Spirit breathes, save that which breathed us first.
Then cast them down, the idols that deprave us,
that make us less and drive us to our worst.
And turn again, to worship God who made us,
to love again, God's images on earth.
We are white and Black, my Lord,
and every color seen,
Native, or just from the port,
new money and has-been,
colonizer, unwashed horde,
and all things in-between,
yet we hear your holy Word,
and we know what you mean.
How is it that you speak to us
in every language known?
We are torn, Lord, each of us
from every other one.
When you came to preach you,
we made the cross your throne;
still you see and reach for us
through all divisions sown.
Sow again your piercing seed
and harrow up our earth;
show again the grace we glean
by springing up to serve.
Flourished wheat and sprouting weed
to you have precious worth:
Turn us all a springtime green,
the color of new birth.
To the tune ST. CATHERINE (“Faith of Our Fathers”):
Lord, you call us to holiness,
not sep'rate saints but many parts;
one body that you feed and bless,
one Christ that beats in many hearts.
But, saving Lord, we must confess,
how deeply we have drawn apart.
What if the hand should curse the eye?
Or eye refuse to love the hand?
Would not the fractured body die?
So shall we fall who lonely stand.
Boundless in mercy, God, supply
that which alone our gaps can span.
Stones of one temple built on Christ,
our work is wounded walls to heal.
Each little pebble he has prized;
each one into his flesh he seals.
For these, himself he sacrificed
and to his church his love revealed.
Joined in one body, we must be
one in the love that loved us first.
Christ in our neighbors we must see,
hearing their cries of hunger, thirst.
Serving our savior faithfully,
all of his members we must serve.
Creator of humanity,
oh, manifold in unity,
you showed to all your pow'r and fame,
but called yourself your people's name.
Of Jacob, Isaac, Abraham,
you named yourself, oh great I AM,
and bid us call ourselves for you,
the people of your promise true.
You came with us through dusty waste—
your presence heaven's sweet foretaste.
And then in flesh and blood you came
to seal in flesh and blood your claim.
Your flame divided, came to rest,
united those the Christ had blessed.
Oh, Godhead, make us all to be
as you are: blessed in unity.
We bear your image, triune God,
ourselves imprinted with this law:
that as you hold in love your three,
so none of us can outcast be.
Oh, Father, Son, and Holy flame,
your image bearers call your name.
As you are ours and yours are we,
let us each other's ever be.
We are an awfully cantankerous lot. I wrote a song about it, to the tune of “Amazing Grace.”
Oh, Lord, what shall your kingdom be?
When shall we see it rise?
How shall we build it, strong and free
and reaching for the skies?
Now hear the judgment of the Lord:
“How shall you build for me?
Not by the warrior, nor by sword,
shall you my servants be.
“Lay down your weapons; lift your hearts.
Lay down the weight of right.
Take up the care of weaker parts
whose tears come in the night.
“Oh, turn from glory, turn from praise
and from your love of gold.
Go down the humble, lonely ways
that lead you to my fold.
“Tear down the prison, break the chain,
and set the bonded free.
Embrace their sorrow and their pain:
So shall you build for me.”
Then Christians, come, unbend the bow;
come lend your heart and hand
to build the kingdom long and low,
spread out across the land.