Sunday, 15 July 2007

Let us listen for the Word

A hymn by Kim Fabricius

(Tune: Buckland or Vienna)

Let us listen for the Word,
as we hear it read and preached,
sharper than the sharpest sword,
sweeter than the sweetest peach.

Scripture sings in different keys –
hymns of praise and mournful cries,
letters, legends, histories,
guidance from the worldly-wise.

Written with imperfect scores,
pitched for people culture-bound,
scarred by old barbaric laws –
scripture makes discordant sounds.

Yet a love-song, with refrain,
resonates from all around;
sunshine breaks through cloud and rain,
flowers bloom from barren ground.

God whose Word is cruciform,
as we hear it preached and read,
may our hearts be strangely warmed,
and our souls raised from the dead.

11 Comments:

AndrewE said...

Kim, a question: Do you use these hymns? They're certainly good enough. But I was just curious about how frequently your congregation embraced them etc. How do they go down?

kim fabricius said...

Hi Andrewe,

Yes, my church is the guinea pig for my hymns - and my folk have been a great encouragement - and one or two other churches in the area use some of them too. Most of my hymns (around fifty now) have been published in a British worship journal called Worship Live, some have also appeared in worship anthologies published by Canterbury Press, and occasionally I get some good feedback. My own church has now collected all my work to date in a volume (called Paddling by the Shore) which is just about to be printed off.

Thanks for you comment and interest.

ee said...

I'm tempted to use it, if only to see who would pick up the first stone to hurl at me when we came to the third verse...

michael jensen said...

Well I would for a start...
;-)

kim fabricius said...

"old barbaric laws" - yes, hmmm.

Rather than cite any OT legislation, which would not be hard to do, I'll simply mention the line that was in my mind when I penned the hymn. It's from Walter Benjamin: "There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism."

Robert P. Carroll cites it among several epigraphs with which he introduces his Wolf in the Sheepfold: The Bible as Problematic for Theology (1991, 1997).

Another is this one from Kierkegaard: "Stupid clergyman appeal quite directly to a Bible passage directly understood." Ouch, Soren!

michael jensen said...

Yes, but isn't there a hint of Marcionitism about this hymn?

kim fabricius said...

Marcionitism, Michael? Perish the thought!

Yet a love-song, with refrain,
resonates from all around.

michael jensen said...

Shame you have to edit out the 'old barbaric laws', then, isn't it? Or, sit as judge over them perhaps? I guess we now know better!

;-)

kim fabricius said...

"The Lord gave the following regulation: If any man [or woman] criticises or jests about a hymn written by a minister of God, he shall be put to death - or banned from further comment at F&T, which is a thousand tiomes worse" (Leviticus 28:1).

kim fabricius said...

And the word "tiomes" comes from the autograph text, and is therefore inerrant. We must alter all English dictionaries accordingly!

michael jensen said...

'Tiomes' sounds like it was said with an Australian accent. Can we assume that there was therefore some redaction on the part of the Blog host?

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