A body, broken on a cross,
with watching women's helpless grief,
and men in heedless, headlong flight,
through fear, despair or disbelief --
in this, though still we find it strange,
are life, and hope, and power to change.
A people weaponless and weak,
not many wealthy, great or wise,
but women, laborers and slaves,
absurd to Greek and Roman eyes,
their Caesar's rages could forgive,
out-die, out-suffer, and out-live.
And still today, abroad, at home,
from suburb or from shanty-town,
the Spirit's new, surprising word,
in ours or other faiths, or none,
our sad routines will disarrange
with gospel-hope of power to change.
When disillusion chains our feet
and might and money turn to dust,
when exile, desert or defeat
have left us nothing else to trust,
at last our spirit understands
the strength of peaceful, nail-scarred hands.
A nation drifting in decline
can turn to just and loving ways,
and people empty, bruised, ashamed,
can find rebirth to joy and praise,
and churches, wakened, can exchange
a huddled death for power to change.
(for the Methodist Church (UK) Overseas Division)
Alternative tune: MELITA