Some carols from Aotearoa-New Zealand and Australia, as we head towards Epiphany, orienting us to the journey motif in the story.
God, help the weary travelers (Daniel Charles Damon)
1. God, help the weary travelers who follow their star,
seeking a refuge, so near, yet so far,
seeking a place of shelter from hatred and war,
seeking the safety of some distant shore.
Refrain: God, help the weary travelers, the lost and the found,
all of us travelers on this holy ground.
God, help the weary travelers, those just passing through,
all of us travelers with love’s work to do.
2. God, help the gifted people who come seeking gold,
far from their homelands, their lives bought and sold.
God, free us from the judgments that turn us to stone,
show us the river that flows from your throne.
3. God, lift new generations from muck and from mire,
baptized with water and Spirit and fire.
God, raise new generations with hearts set ablaze,
singing and dancing their Maker’s high praise.
Suggested Hymn Tune: PRAYER FOR TRAVELERS – Damon, Daniel Charles
Poetic Meter: 220.127.116.11. Ref.
Wise men came journeying (Shirley Erena Murray)
Wise men came journeying, once, long ago,
camel hooves swirling the sand dune and snow,
gold in the saddlebag, myrrh in the jar,
incense to honor the Child of the star.
Wise are the travelers led to move on
following signs where the Christ light has shone,
facing the deserts and crossing the lines,
heeding no limits that culture defines.
Wise are each one of us looking for change,
stargazer people, respecting the strange,
inner and outer worlds open to light,
centered on seeing the real and the right.
Wise ones keep journeying all through their days
bringing their gifts to the source of their praise,
risking the Promise with all they hold dear,
seeking God’s peace at the door of the year.
The star and hope for our times (Shirley Erena Murray)
Shirley Erena Murray writes of looking to peace and justice in our world, with particular reference to the three Abrahamic faiths.
Now the star of Christmas shines into our day,
points a new direction: change is on the way –
there’s another landscape to be travelled through,
there’s a new-born spirit broadening our view.
When the Christ of Christmas speaks to heart and mind,
clears the clouded vision hurting humankind,
kindred spirits gather, drawn toward the light,
sharing revelation, joyful at the sight.
If we choose to follow, we may yet be wise:
where the three kings travel, three great faiths arise:
Christ within the Christian, Jesus in the Jew,
Prophet for the Muslim, each tradition true.
Where the star enlightens, light is shared around.
God has drawn no borders, faith sees common ground:
Peace the hopeful journey, justice without bar,
God’s illumination from the Christmas star.
Suggested Hymn Tune: NOEL NOUVELET –
Poetic Meter: 18.104.22.168.D.
Be the light (Craig Mitchell and David MacGregor)
Be the light that shrouds the twilight
Be the might that holds our fears
Be the home that yearns our dwelling
Be the stone that takes our tears
Refrain: Christ be our light, Whom shall we fear?
Deep in the night, Spirit, draw near.
Be the cry that whispers mercy
Be the seeker when we hide
Be the taker and the giver
Be the pathway and the guide
Be the sacrifice that breaks us
Be the shelter in the flood
Be the promise that remakes us
Be the parent who is good