Lord, we recall your words (website only)

Cross of Sacrifice (also known as a War Cross) from a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery

Lord, we recall your words that speak
of love as the great rule of life;
this your command: that we should love
each other as you have loved us.
No one has greater love than this:
to lay down life to help their friends.

Lord, we recall all who have loved,
responding to your new command;
given of their lives to help a friend,
a stranger, anyone in need.
No one has greater love than this:
to lay down life to help their friends.

Lord, we recall all, who in war,
have given their lives for nationhood:
those who believed, eager to serve;
those who, with doubt, took up the call.
No one has greater love than this:
to lay down life to help their friends.

Lord, we recall those who were told
and trusted good would come from death;
trust that has often been betrayed
when sacrifice has led nowhere.
No one has greater love than this:
to lay down life to help their friends.

Lord, we recall your sacrifice;
nailed to a cross to show God’s love.
This love will never be surpassed:
love for us all, as God’s own friends.
No one has greater love than this:
to lay down life to help their friends.

Based on John 13: 34 and John 15: 12-14

Words: © Andrew Brown, August 2014

Metre: 88.88.88

Suggested tunes: Written with “St. Catherine (Hemy)” in mind (Hymns &Psalms 747). Alternative Singing the Faith tunes include Credo (StF 600) and Dura (StF 512)

Ideas for use

Though written with the Remembrance Sunday in mind, if verse 3 of this text is omitted, it may be used more widely.

Consider using this hymn in conjunction with (or even instead of, especially if spoken) prayers of intercession. Perhaps sing verses 1&2 before spoken prayers, followed by the remaining verses. Or consider using only verse 1 or 5 as a spoken/sung response within prayers of intercession.

More information

"And the trench was a reeking shambles" - German dead in the La Basse area

Singing the Faith includes just a few hymns that are of particular value when planning a Remembrance Service on or near 11 November (see Remembering conflict – singing for peace). Andrew Brown’s text adds to that number, with its particular focus on personal self-sacrifice. (See Ideas for use, above.)

Andrew seeks to draw out the implications of Jesus’ declarations in the Gospel of John (John 13: 34 and John 15: 12-14) about the stretch and demand of Christian love. There are times, Jesus says, in which we are challenged to put the needs of others before even our own lives – not because we are God’s unquestioning followers but because we are Jesus’ friends.

Andrew Brown has been a Methodist Local Preacher for forty years and is now based in Yorkshire. He says: “I became interested in writing hymn poems in 2003 and am keen to provide words that question and challenge, while remaining true to the good news of God’s love for each individual.”

Categories: 88.88.88., Brown, Andrew, Credo, Dura, Hymns only online (submit to stfplus@methodistchurch.org.uk), Intercession and Petition, Our Journey with God, Remembrance, Remembrance Sunday, The Passion and the Cross, Times and Seasons.

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