Monday, 22 April 2013

Do we have a future?: a hymn parody

This is more of a hymn parody than a hymn.  It’s based on Elizabeth Smith’s hymn “God gives us a future …” (TiS 687) and, if it’s ever sung, was written for the tune "Camberwell", which is used for Dr. Smith’s hymn. 

The first verse is about all the “experts” and “gurus” within the churches who have made lucrative careers for themselves in declaring the self-fulfilling prophecy that mainstream Christian churches have a short life expectancy. 

The second verse is about the “fresh expressions” and “missional” gimmicks that churches try as a response to the gloom of the “gurus”.

The third verse is about the way that some local church leaders (ordained and lay) try to achieve an artificial consensus for their “fresh expressions” by trivialising those within the church who have different views.

In the fourth verse, this parody becomes a hymn and affirms that, by being the people of God in the present, we have a future.

“We don’t have a future!”
all the “experts” say.
All the mainstream churches
will soon fade away.
Solemn commentators
hurl sarcastic jeers
that we won’t survive
another twenty years.

Find a “fresh expression”
(feels like change, yet bland)
like a café service
or a loud praise band.
Move the Sunday service
over to the hall.
Everything’s projected
on a screen or wall.

And, if some raise questions,
say their faith is weak.
Question their commitment
to the goals we seek.
Alternate suggestions?
Always shrug them off
like a case of hiccups
or a ticklish cough.

Still we have a future!
Even now we see
Bread, and wine, and water,
Scripture, liturgy,
serving God and neighbour
(heart, and strength, and mind).
Living in God’s present,
we’ll God’s future find.

1 comment:

  1. I recently went to Pirate Church and they sang a song to the tune of "Hark! the herald angels sing" which was brilliant. I must see if I can fidn the words. All I can remember off the top of my head are the lines" Hark! the Progressive Christians sing/All Christians must be left-wing", and I remember that because I was one of the people aimed at. Of course all Christians must be left-wing! ;-)


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