Christ is the cornerstone

Christ is the cornerstone upon which stands
this house of prayer.
Christ’s is the work entrusted to our hands,
the task we share:
God’s love make known; God’s purposes proclaim;
God’s pow’r alone to set the heart aflame.

And here we tell of Christ: his life, his death,
his empty tomb.
And fear would seal us in; but Jesus’ breath
unlocks the room!
Protect us, Lord; assure us of your peace.
Direct us, Lord; your Spirit’s pow’r release.

The voice that called us once unto this place
shall call us on.
The choice of God that all should know his grace
shall make us strong!
His word is sure: no life of faith is lost;
his hold secure, fulfilled in Pentecost.

This hymn was written for the final service, held on Pentecost Sunday, at a village church that was closing. It expresses the conviction that closure and endings need not be marks of failure, but instead can be part of God’s continuing mission for us. The tune “Sandon” fits well; but if you can source the tune “Wadhurst” by Sir Michael Tippett, that’s the one for which this was written (potentially as a choir item rather than for congregational singing).


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