Category Archives: terror

Manchester: When the waves are crashing

Reflecting on the events in Manchester, it seemed that a Blues piece may be an appropriate response.

How should we be when everything we cling to is shaken? What do we cling to when all our certainties are under threat? What about when even our faith feels shaky? If we can’t hold on our only hope is that Jesus will hold us.

This hymn When the waves are crashing is in the United Methodist Church’s Worship & Song hymnal with a tune written by Jackson Henry. It was a great delight last week when Jackson and I managed to meet up in Nashville for the first time.

Waves crashing


Orlando: Echo faith’s resounding note …

A friend emailed me today (thanks Debbie) to say she was planning to use one of my hymns on Sunday to help the congregation where she’s preaching reflect on the attacks on the LGBT nightclub in Orlando.

It was originally written 15 years ago, the day after 9/11, and seems to have resonated with people of faith for far too many killings since.

The crumbling mountains were the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre but also anything we assume will be a permanence in our lives and too easily gets taken away by violence.

For those who use the Methodist hymnbook Singing the Faith it is number 722, where it is set to the tune Vox Dilecti. If you are a musician, it will work with a number of DCM (8686D) tunes.

When mountains that we thought secure

lie crumbled where we stand

and pain and helplessness endure

– all from another’s hand –

Help us to bear the prophet’s mark,

to stand apart from hate

and witness to the Father’s call

for justice in the land.


God is our strength and refuge still

though all the earth give way;

our help at every time of ill,

the light of our dark day.

And as his people in the world

we bear the scars of grief,

but echo faith’s resounding note

– and still for justice pray.


There is a place of holiness

where God makes warfare cease.

There is a day of hopefulness,

a promised time of peace.

So, here today, we bear the pain

of inhumanity,

but pledge our lives to live for truth

so justice may increase


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