Because you came and sat beside us
Source: Singing the Faith: 420
Words: Shirley Murray
Music: “Maujer Street” by Amanda Husberg
Ideas for use
This quiet hymn works well as a sung prayer of confession, with no need to add an additional spoken prayer of confession.
Shirley Erena Murray is a leading contemporary hymn writer from New Zealand (see A jolt of reality). In this carefully structured hymn, her words are comforting in their intimate evocation of the ministry of Jesus (“you came and sat beside us”; “you laughed and loved the child-like”). At the same time, our love of “status and steady money”, of power and winning battles, are named (v.3) and we accept that we need to ask forgiveness.
The hymn runs two “stories” in parallel. One is the story of our need for forgiveness and the realisation that “in the Spirit, we are forgiven” (v.5).
The other story is that of the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. He sits beside us (v.1), lives from day to day (v.2), weeps at our behaviour (v.3), “absorbs our sin” on the cross (v.4) and lives on through the power of Easter and Pentecost (v.5).